Back at Milepost 1191, I showed you the beginnings of another Maintenance of Way (MoW) car that I was working on. It was a crane tender for a “Big Hook,” 250-ton crane used by the railroads to pick up cars & locomotives usually at the site of an accident. In keeping with the MoW theme started by the NKPHTS’s Model of the Year (see Milepost 1189), I made a few modifications to this one and it’s almost ready to join the fleet.
My biggest “beef” with the car as I got it at a swap meet was that it was too long. If you have been following my musings here, you know that I like shorter cars as they tend to make a train look longer. It’s simple math but the brain can be fooled a little if you think about it. Eight 50-foot cars take up about the same amount of space as ten 40-footers but when yo look at it and see ten cars as opposed to eight, you think the train with ten cars is longer. Thus my likeing of shorter cars in my trains. Besides, the era I model, the mid-1950s “transition era,” was dominated by 40-foot cars so they do fit in to what I’m doing.
So after I took the car apart, I found a 40-foot underframe and cut the rest of the car to match it. Wanting to keep the cabin part as a whole, I cut off the other end. From there, it was just a matter of painting then grafting the old car to its new frame. When the project was done, I decided that it needed a little something more so I fabricated the jib crane out of some scraps from ye olde scrap box and fashioned a hook from some soft florist’s wire. I figured that the MoW guys would have need to pick up heavier objects while they were performing work on the track so would appreciate the help provided by the small crane.
The only thing left to do on this car is to add some MoW markings and it will be ready to be put into service. I’ll have plenty of decal work to do as I intend to complete a few more cars for my MoW train and most of them will need markings.
All in all, this was a super simple project that was a lot of fun to complete.