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I am constructing two container cranes that will work in a rail yard. They will be constructed to match the ones that BNSF uses. Here are some starting photos. The cranes will be 30 inches wide by 16 inches deep by 12 inches high under the horizontal main beam.20220910_07155420220910_07394020220910_09264120220911_10545720220911_114410


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Last edited by Alan Graziano
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Wow! That's going to be huge and I bet awesome! I'm actually in the early stages of trying to build a crane for my layout with Gilbert Erector Set pieces for that old time look to it. Mine won'tbe nearly that size since I only have a small layout and space to fit it into between the tracks coming out of my Menards 2 Bay Engine Shop. One track goes straight then does a 45° curve, over a 45° crossover and through a turnout to connect to my outside track, and the other does a 90° turn to go connect to my inside track. Please keep us updated with picture on your progress.


This crane is situated in a rail yard probably out west. If you type in BNSF container cranes in images you will see them. The crane itself will have a building like structure attached to it that will stick up 3 to 4 inches above the crane way. I will start getting into the details next week. Right now, I completed both basic structures and next will start stair and ladder details.

Most of the cruise nights and car shows are finished around here since we are quickly running out of light during the day. That provides the time for me to go back to work on the cranes. Here are some pictures of the electrical and equipment boxes that are mounted at the top of the structure. I also installed the top crane rail angles. The details will take some time on these two cranes.20221003_18244520221003_18283120221003_182349


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I used Plastruct spiral stair kit from the catalog. I had those for over ten or fifteen years and never had a good use for them. The spiral stairs I use on tanks are made from scratch. In this case my only option was a stair tower and I did not want to put something so large on the side of the crane. The spiral stair is compact enough to allow the structure to look larger than it is.


I did not keep track of the hours. I have not worked on this project on a continuous basis so it would be very difficult to figure it out.


The wheels were scratch built. I used two 3/4 inch diameter manholes glued together to create the basic wheel. I drilled a 1/8 inch diameter hole through the center for the 3/32 inch diameter axles. I added a 1/4 inch diameter by 1/8 inch spacer on each side of the wheel. A .020 inch styrene plate with three holes drilled in each one provided the connection to the frame. Flanges we’re used to hold the axles through the plates. The plates were capped with a .060 inch plate to allow gluing to the frame structure. There are a couple of other small details. The wheels are pretty crude but they move fine on the rails.

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