This has been a rather hit and miss affair. I planned the layout long before I thought about putting the car system in and although it looks good on paper, it does have a number of quirks.
What is the Faller Car System?
The vehicles have a magnet on the front axle which follows a wire embedded in the road surface. Rechargeable batteries run a small motor attached to the rear axle. The vehicles range from lorries to little vans. I currently have a small van, two buses to be rejigged into Busch goldfish bowl city buses and a lorry.
The layout was built before I decided to put in the Faller Car System so it is shoe-horned in. I had always planned an elevated section of rail over a road so I used that section as the one for the car system. There were plans for a plaster road with styrene sidewalks. I had to improvise loops at both ends to turn the vehicles. One end is a widened section of road and the other a new piece of baseboard which passes round the back of the layout. This is very tight in places and I doubt I can fit any wing mirrors on the vehicles! Unfortunately it was very low clearance and I have many scratches on the tops of my hands to witness.
All well and good but I would not use the faller wire but a thicker one next time as I have problems with some of the vehicles losing the wire and hence the road! The road is plaster but I laid it several times before it looked good. I ended up sanding it many times to bring the wire to the surface as I buried it too deeply to start with. There is a hidden section which I pulled out and relaid. It is still a bit tight in places.
I looked through all the goodies and optional extras, such as bus stops, with glee. You can put in traffic lights, petrol stations, stop sections and turnouts. I bought a traffic lights junction (I know the light sequence is wrong as it has red/amber rather than straight from red to green) and a bus stop. After looking at the bus stop, I realised it would control the petrol station opposite the bus stop as well.
Progress so far
I bought a bus stop and two Busch American buses to kit bash with the Faller buses. The Faller buses are shorter but they can be cut and extended to match the Busch buses. The project has reached the disassembly stage with everything in pieces.
Below is a Busch bus before any work started. The S-1 is sat on some road running track and the Faller system now runs either side.
The photo below shows the view from the opposite direction. The green bus is where the bus stop will be and on the left there will be a petrol station. Both the bus stop and petrol station have a turnout and a piece of embedded wire which runs in a parallel loop. Mid way along there is a stop section which is an electomagnet which triggers a reed switch on the bus and then stops the motor.
Crossing over the rails is tricky and as a result the far side has several lines of wire to channel any off-route vehicles back on to the correct wire. The rails have plastic track laid along each inside edge (left over from a friend’s Walthers’ Car Float) to mimic the road running track and the inside is filled with plaster. This gives a smoother surface for the vehicles to run over. They work best when the wire is closer to perpendicular.
I find that the buses still come off the wire with monotonous regularity. I have put in quite a few “catch” wires to stop errant buses from going too far off course:
The turnouts have also caused no end of problems. I have had them up and put back in so many times…. but I will not be put off!
The wire was all laid (and relaid!) but the bus stop would not work. The LEDs on the control box all flashed but the sensors didn’t trip. I eventually pulled them out and destroyed one in the progress. I recently bought some spare sensors and tried again. Success! The bus stop works and there were spare outputs on the box so I also installed the petrol station which works too. The only downside is that they are tripped by a magnet on the bus and I can’t for the life of me work out why a bus would need to go into the petrol (sorry gas) station.