Intermodal Port Crane

Discussion in 'HO Scale Model Trains' started by Nick8564, Oct 2, 2006.

  1. Nick8564

    Nick8564 Member

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    Has anyone found or tried to build an intermodal crane for a port to unload container ships. I have seen many small cranes that unload trucks and trains, but nothing big like the ones that unload the ships. I found one, but it will only clear 20' containers. The other one I found cost to much for a kit. Thanks
  2. Wildcatfootball

    Wildcatfootball Member

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    On the lines of this, can you show me where you found the small cranes? I really want to find one. I've seen tons for N, but not many for HO.
  3. Nick8564

    Nick8564 Member

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    IHC made one, I got one off of eBay, don't know if they still make one, but lots seems to be floating on ebay.
  4. KCS

    KCS Member

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    Your best bet would be to look into Kribri. They carry the biggest cranes in HO. I have 2 so far each at a cost of almost $200 each but I was lucky to et a discount down around $80 each. They are great kits and well worth it. If they don't have what your ooking for then you'll just have to combine kits and do some scatchin' and bashin'.
  5. slagpot

    slagpot Member

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    Hello Nick,

    Hold your horses and wait just a little longer. Walthers and Heljan are teaming up for a fully operational container crane.Due out with in the next year or so.

    I read on-line somewhere....can't remember where though. I surpised you guys haven't heard about it ????

    I'll see if I can't find a link to this.

    Slagpot
  6. slagpot

    slagpot Member

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    Nick,

    Heres a link to what you might be looking for.

    http://www.hobbylinc.com/htm/vol/vol5620.htm

    Walthers and Heljan are building a container crane much larger than this one...like for unloading container ships. Someone send me a picture of the model that their {walthers & Heljan} working on.Due sometime either this year or maybe in the next few years.But its coming.....

    Slagpot
  7. slagpot

    slagpot Member

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    Nick,

    I found the link to it....Ha Ha!!!!!!

    http://www.gaugemaster.co.uk/Heljan.html

    Slagpot
  8. Nick8564

    Nick8564 Member

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    That sounds cool. I searched for it on the internet and found a write up in a review of the National Train Show. On there they said late 2006 before it comes out, but looking at $700+ for it. Thats steep. Looks like kit bashin for me.
  9. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

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    i saw one for $700 at the National Trainshow in Philadelphia. IT was cool, because it operated by electromagnets and remote control. it was so awesome.
  10. green_elite_cab

    green_elite_cab Keep It Moving!

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    lol, beat me to it.

    I can tell you though, i saw it in action. its beautiful. I wish the price was lower. I think it could start a port modeling hobby, lol.
  11. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    I'm a bit confused as to what sort of crane you want to model. There are three different types used in intermodal service in the United States, and all three are different from each other in various ways.

    #1 is the "hammer head" crane that is used to load/unload containers from the ships to the utr trucks & chassis. This is the biggest of the cranes used in intermodal service. The basic structure is a pair of modified "A" frames. The two "A" frames will be approximately 60 feet apart with cross members connecting them together at the top of the "A" and at the bottom of the legs. It is pretty much open in between to allow containers to be lifted off of chassis and trolleyed out over the ship's deck without interference. It will gantry along the dock on two rails set @ 30 or 40 feet apart if I remember correctly. The boom is hinged and swings up like a draw bridge when not in use, or when the crane needs to gantry past the ships bridge. The basic crane framework could be modeled using Micro Engineering structural "I" beam shapes of various sizes. You could use a Pikestuff metal building for a machinery house. The machinery house sits about 100 feet up on the cross members of the 2 "A" frames, and will measure about 40 feet by 60 feet. The house is mounted behind the "A" so that it will counter balance the weight on the boom when lifting a loaded container from the far side of the ship. The largest container ships are probably 200 feet wide, and the boom has to reach all the way to the far side. The machinery house is mounted solidly to the frame. A trolley operates on rails on the boom with a glass cab mounted to the bottom of the trolley. The cab could be easily modeled with clear styrene and Micro Engineering "L" structural shapes. The cab is probably about 5 feet square, with clear glass on all sides except the top and back, and the very back part of the floor where the driver's seat is mounted. The front of the floor is sloped up like the floorboars of a car, and all glass so the operator has a clear view of everything below him. The containers are lifted and lowered by a device called a "spreader bar." The spreader bar is a rectangular frame 8 feet wide that extends to 40 feet long or retracts to 20 feet long. On the corners of the spreader bar are twist locks that fit into the corner posts of the containers and then twist 90 degrees to lock into the top of a container. Overall size of the "hammer head" crane will be 60 feet long, 200 feet tall at the top of the "A", and 300-400 feet from the back of the machinery house to the end of the boom. The crane gantrys by use of electric motors mounted to each wheel on the trucks. The motors will be veritcal at the far ends of each gantry truck. Hoist and trolley are accomplished through cables on drums in the mnachinery house going through sheaves. The boom cables use to raise and lower the boom come out the front of the machinery house near the roof and go all the way to the top of the "A" and out to the end of the boom.

    The 2nd type of crane used is called a "transtainer." That is the crane picture in the both links in the thread except that we don't use a prototype like that in the U.S. All of the transtainers in the U.S. run on huge rubber tires, similar in size to the ones used by construction equipment. The drive is by electric motors at each wheel driving through a chain from a sprocket on the end of the motor to the wheel. Each of the four wheels is on a pivot which allows all 4 wheels to steer. The motor, drive chain, & wheel all pivot together. When I last worked in the Harbor in the late 80's the largest transtainers would stack containers 4 high and 5 wide with room for a truck lane underneath and lift 5 high to clear the stacks. They are about 50 feet long to clear 40 foot containers. There is a machinery house between the legs on one side that houses a diesel engine and generator set to drive everything. Also on the same cross member with the generator set is a fuel tank. The other side of the transtainer has an electrical cabinet to control everything.

    The 3rd type of crane used in intermodal service at railyards and on docks that have direct railroad access is the straddle crane. It was not pictured in any of the links. It looks like the transtainer but is much smaller.It is usually 2 lanes plus a railroad trrack wide, and just tall enough to stack containers 2 high in double stack cars. If found on dock it will just have a spreader bar, because all containers are loaded using twist locks from the top of the corner posts. At the rail yard it will have 4 long arms that will swing down to grab the bottom of a trailer because the railyard crane is designed to load both containers with twist locks as well as trailers in piggy back service. The only crane used in intermodal service in the U.S. that runs on rails is the "hammer head". The rest of them run on rubber tires because they are more versatile that way.
  12. Nick8564

    Nick8564 Member

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    Im looking to build a hammer head. I think the other cranes mentioned have kits by Walthers I believe. Im going to take your suggestions(if thats all right) and maybe draw one up to scale. May make it alittle bit smaller than the measurments, that one sounds like a big one. I have seen some on the internet that look smaller in smaller ports and due to size a little port is what I have. Any more information would be great. Thanks
    Nick
  13. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

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    You may well find smaller cranes in small harbor, particularly if the harbor is small enough that the really large container ships can't get in. You can also make the ship, the containers and the crane slightly smaller than ho scale to give you some forced perspective. This is presuming that the ship, containers and crane will be on the back of the layout.