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Discussion Starter #1
I'm not really sure where to put this question, so hope it's ok here. I'm wandering if there is some kind of loader to replicate loading something into a train car. First thing that comes to mind is a container lift, but didn't have up be that.

My son's old train table had a little magnetic crane that would pick up conexs and place them on the train cars. Something of that nature would be pretty fun for him. I don't really know what to search for it what's possible here. Nothing super complicated, doesn't have to be motorized, a hand crank would even be fine. Just something he can use to load/unload something.

HO scale, BTW. Thanks

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Discussion Starter #4
That is insanely cool! But custom building something like that probably isn't in the cards right now.

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I also saw several HO Tyco operating loaders on the auction site, one of them might be suitable :)
 

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Yes, Tyco made a slew of operating loaders and unloaders. I think the first one I had as a kid was the unloading Burlington Northern box car. For a birthday or Christmas I received the pipe pusher depot that unloads large sections of pipe by a bulldozer that moves and extends to push the pipe off of the flatcar.

There's a lot of different models that shouldn't be too hard to find on e-Bay. Whether or not they are still working is another question.
 

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Well go to ebay and put in ( HO scale Overhead Loader/Unloader Crane ) and I get all kinds of lifts and most of it is sold as new.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well go to ebay and put in ( HO scale Overhead Loader/Unloader Crane ) and I get all kinds of lifts and most of it is sold as new.
I think overhead is the key word I was missing. I kept getting result for auto racks

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True! You need to search ebay for "tyco ho operating loader". "Operating" being the key...
 

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yayusss!! now, Michael, that's da bomb!! 😆😆😆

I looked that up, it's a bus stop in München...🤣
 

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The best play-action container loader I've seen is the Cox "dockside Crane". It's more similar to a ship loading crane, but it' operates by hand crank and looks quite sturdy. You can often find examples on ebay.

It's recently been reissued by Lima.

The only drawback is that I'm not sure it can handle full size containers. It was designed with 20' containers in mind.
 

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You might also be able to find the classic tyco "piggyback loader/unloader" which I can load short trailers onto flat cars.
Tyco TOFC flats and trailers are pretty common and cheap, though you may have to look a bit for a working crane.

It also has a much smaller footprint than the COX/Lima crane.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Now we're getting somewhere! Thanks for the input guys. Amazing some of these didn't turn up in searches yet... Need to work on my Google-fu!

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I'm not really sure where to put this question, so hope it's ok here. I'm wandering if there is some kind of loader to replicate loading something into a train car. First thing that comes to mind is a container lift, but didn't have up be that.

My son's old train table had a little magnetic crane that would pick up conexs and place them on the train cars. Something of that nature would be pretty fun for him. I don't really know what to search for it what's possible here. Nothing super complicated, doesn't have to be motorized, a hand crank would even be fine. Just something he can use to load/unload something.

HO scale, BTW. Thanks

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vett-kid;

You might want to look at, & ask your question on, the O-scale forum. There's a whole lot of Lionel experts over there, and Lionel was really into loading, and unloading, many different types of freight, and even livestock. If your son doesn't care about the size difference, you might just buy a used Lionel loader. Even if you want an HO-scale, or N-scale, loader, the Lionel offerings could provide ideas for building your own.
Geared motors, and possibly large rubber bands, could be used to make a working conveyor. The motors could also power a crane. A small electromagnet coil could be used on the crane to pick up metal objects, or crates/containers with metal plates glued on top. A simpler way would use a permanent magnet, and just have your son hand pull the freight off it. The same motors can also be used to lower the spout of a water tower, open a roll up door, etc. Just use your imagination, and you will come up with animation ideas. Model Railroader Magazine has had articles on doing animation.They even have a book available on the subject. Check Kalmbach Hobby Store click on"model trains", "books", and look for the book "Realistic Animation Lighting & Sound"

Some motor sources are www.allelectronics.com and www.hankscraft.com
Hankscraft makes a lot of different products involved with commercial displays. If you go to their site, look on the right, under "POP" devices (Point of Purchase) for the motors, and contact info for the company.
I use Hankscraft motors to operate turnouts, and to open & close the doors of the engine house at "Cedar Falls yard" on my layout. Don't be put off by the crowded complex of motors & wiring in my photo. Only four of the motors in the photo operate the engine house's four sets of double doors. They are controlled with simple DPDT switches on the left, (white) side of the control panel. The fifth (center) switch turns on the interior lights. All the other motors operate turnouts in the yard. At the extreme left of the engine house interior photo, you can just see the hinged, motor & linkage driven, brass plates that will later have doors glued to them. In that early photo, the door plates have yet to be installed at the right-hand end of the structure.
A company called "Switchmaster" sells a commercial model railroad switch machine with a Hankscraft gear motor and a wire rod. It could easily be adapted to push a forklift, or bulldozer, to shove freight onto a flatcar. Just make sure the platform that the machine sits on is a little higher than the flatcar,so you don't push the car off the track! For that matter, the more common Tortoise switch machine could do the same thing.

Good Luck & Have Fun;

Traction Fan :)
 

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I'm not really sure where to put this question, so hope it's ok here. I'm wandering if there is some kind of loader to replicate loading something into a train car. First thing that comes to mind is a container lift, but didn't have up be that.

My son's old train table had a little magnetic crane that would pick up conexs and place them on the train cars. Something of that nature would be pretty fun for him. I don't really know what to search for it what's possible here. Nothing super complicated, doesn't have to be motorized, a hand crank would even be fine. Just something he can use to load/unload something.

HO scale, BTW. Thanks

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You should get the tyco mi jack
543772
 
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