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How to transfer logs from a train to a truck?
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 Posted: Tue Dec 5th, 2017 11:06 pm
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Eric T
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I'm modeling a generic Pacific Northwest logging scene and I want to include logs being transferred from train cars onto a truck, but it occurred to me I don't know exactly how that would be realistically accomplished.

I see plenty of railcar cranes, but those wouldn't reach the entire length of the train and I'd like to avoid using a spar tree as the scene needs to be portable and I don't want to set up all the rigging each time I move it.

The time frame is early 1900s up to 1940 and I'm modelling On30 scale.

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 Posted: Wed Dec 6th, 2017 02:12 am
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NathanO
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There were and are cranes that stand over the track with 'feet' on both sides. A locomotive pushes the string of cars to the crane as they are unloaded. Trucks can be lined up on both sides of the track.

Nathan

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 Posted: Wed Dec 6th, 2017 10:56 pm
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Alan Sewell
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Have just seen this.

Are we really talking about logs being transferred FROM a train TO log trucks. I don't think I am aware of this at all. It was trucks TO train at transfers. Most started in the 1940's so maybe beyond the time frame and were standard gauge. Narrow gauge is pretty rare in the Pacific Northwest. If you don't want a spar tree or A frame ( as at Engelwood ) then Rayonier, Schafer and I think Weyerhaeuser used overhead cranes at a transfer.

Best wishes from the UK

Alan

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 Posted: Thu Dec 7th, 2017 12:27 am
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Eric T
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Hmm, an A-frame may not be so bad.

And it doesn't HAVE to be train to truck, it could be the other way around as I intend it to be a static display.

Thanks!

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 Posted: Thu Dec 7th, 2017 03:47 am
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jtrain
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Books have been written on the subject of transporting logs, but generally:

Prior to the 1930's a lot of logging was done in the winter using sleds towed by horses to haul logs out of the woods to a rail line.  In places like Minnesota and Michigan, the landing spot would be on or next to a lake.

In the summer, "big wheels" were used to haul logs.  It's difficult to explain, but the big wheels had about an 8 foot diameter wheel on each side of an adjustable frame that moved to evenly distribute the weight of logs, which were slung between the wheels under the axle.

These contraptions were originally towed by horses, but also were used in the early days of tractors.

Then trucks came into play, mostly post WWII.

Most of the time, logs were loaded onto the train, which served as a long distance solution to transport logs from landing sites to the mill.  There were many narrow gauge logging railroads, but most of them were phased out before WWI.  The main benefits of narrow gauge was the cost and the ability to climb steeper grades using lighter track.  However, most outfits that survived past WWI became standard gauge to handle the high capacity of logs needed to feed the large mills.

It's important to note that there are no precise dates for when one technology was phased out and when one began.  Companies changed technology when they deemed it practical.  Even the logging railroads started to disappear post WWI and the trend continued until the 1950's.  Today there's only one logging railroad in all of North America, located on Vancouver Island.  If not for the extreme remoteness of the area, this railroad would be gone too, it just happens to be one warm line through the wilderness.

--James



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 Posted: Thu Dec 7th, 2017 10:12 am
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Alan Sewell
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This is the A-frame Transfer at Camp A reload on the WFI Englewood logging railroad on Vancouver Island . I have some earlier photos which show it as wood but it was steel when I saw it.  
I took this in 2006 but it was in use I understand until the railroad closed in November this year.  So unless WFI  change their mind on the economics, all the company logging railroads are now dead
Best wishes
Alan - from a wet and windy UK

Attachment: engwd906 189.jpg (Downloaded 54 times)

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 Posted: Fri Dec 8th, 2017 12:42 pm
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oztrainz
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Hi Eric,
This is the "reload" area on the late Geoff Nott's "Leigh Creek Lumber Company" as displayed back in 2009, with the log trucks coming in loaded


I know that this type of lifting equipment is not what you are after, but the road arrangement and scenery might give you some inspiration. 



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 Posted: Fri Dec 8th, 2017 08:01 pm
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oztrainz
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Hi Eric, 
some other options might work if it is going to be a static display.

These 2 films are pre-WW2 from different sides of AustraliaThe first uses jacks to shove logs onto the wagons - Langley Vale in NSW on the east coasthttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z8qGtAvNGO4 and wire snigging to unload at the mill.

From Western Australia - "Among the Hardwoods" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dRsu3vbMj4 with bullock teams, horses with a big wheel and wire snigging to load and unload

Another transfer option could be hydraulic rams working horizontal. These would need a 10' to 12' shove to swap a log from a truck to rail or vice versa.



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 Posted: Fri Dec 8th, 2017 10:42 pm
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Alan Sewell
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I don't think the procedures used in Australia/New Zealand would be appropriate to the Pacific Northwest at least after around 1910.  The trees were just too big for jacks and parabuckling. This thread seems to be around transfers. 
I think a robust approach is to use a overhead crane. Attached is a photo from my collection of the transfer at Crane Creek on the Rayonier operations. Malley #38 is pushing empties under the crane. Trucks from the woods come in on the left.
Hope that helps
Alan Its cold in the UK 

Attachment: CC Transfer001.jpg (Downloaded 24 times)

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 Posted: Fri Dec 8th, 2017 11:48 pm
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Eric T
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Thanks guys, but after days of searching I FINALLY found an O scale crane that fits the time period.

https://modeltechstudios.com/oscale1920s-50serawreckingballcrane.aspx

May not be the most prototypical method, but it works for me.


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