Friday, May 11, 2012

Freight Car Ladders

I currently have 4 Sunshine #64.53 Wabash rebuilds on the bench. These are representative of some of the many rebuilds that the Wabash undertook during the 40's to help bolster the fleet and get usage out of perfectly good frames and trucks.
The 85000-85199 series were a variant from the other rebuilds in that they retained their 50 ton Andrews trucks and they had different ladders than the other rebuilds. Based upon the photo above I took the rung spacing to be 14", rather than the usual 16" or 18". The supplied stock Tichy ladders were definitely not the right rung spacing.
I have been enamored with the ladder building technique from the Speedwitch Wabash AAR cars. A photo-etched pair of stiles that you bend to create the angle and then insert commercial straight grabs once the legs are clipped. Solder or glue and they're ready for mounting.

However the rung spacing on these ladders were wrong for this project. I posted an impromptu survey on STMFC, and among other things, got a suggestion from Tom Madden how how to create my own ladders.
A really simple, but very effective technique.

I spent most of the morning creating the 16 required ladders and mounted 4 on one of the cars.
I'm very pleased with the final results. I'm indebted to Tom for this technique.
Having said that I'm still going to pursue other options for oddball ladders. With the hopes of making them commercially available. Stay tuned!


A R Pollard said...

Nice looking ladders is it just me, but one of the rungs looks to be askew?

Pierre Oliver said...

Leave it to the Brit to be fussy!:-)
If you're looking at the end ladder it's optical illusion from the end ribs.