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Gantry Crane - Riverfront Scene

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Gantry Crane - Riverfront Scene
Posted by richhotrain on Tuesday, February 4, 2020 5:09 PM

I am building a riverfront scene on my layout, and I want to add a gantry crane next to the Walthers Front Street Warehouse that I have already built. In doing so, I want to confirm that what I am contemplating is prototypical.

In the following photo, my Walthers Front Street Warehouse is on the left, and the Walthers Gantry Crane is on the right.  As I contemplate the scene, the gantry crane would be used to unload a docked barge in the river below and transfer the contents onto either the warehouse loading dock or directly onto a flatbed trailer parked below the crane. Would this be a prototyical placement and use of the gantry crane?

Although the photo shows the gantry crane at an angle, on my layout it would directly face the river, just like the warehouse. My plan is to replace the two small loading docks with one long loading dock.

Rich

gantry-crane.jpg

Alton Junction

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Posted by gmpullman on Tuesday, February 4, 2020 7:34 PM

I've heard them refered to as Whirley Cranes, Rich.

https://www.americanconstco.com/whirley-yard-cranes

If you search Google images you come up with many images of them and their varied uses. I believe your scenario is correct and plausible.

Regards,  Ed

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Posted by dehusman on Tuesday, February 4, 2020 11:21 PM

Those types of cranes are normall not used to load into a warehouse, they are normally used to unload/load stuff into gons or open top cars.  Most pier warehouses are "single story",  more enclosed buildings with ground level doors instead of loading docks.

If you search for the Hagley Digital Archives, then "Dallin Aerial" and used the lists on the left side to choose a port city and then "piers & wharves" you can get all sorts of aerial shots of port facilites in the 20's thru the 50's.

Dave H. Painted side goes up. My website : wnbranch.com

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Posted by richhotrain on Wednesday, February 5, 2020 5:27 AM

gmpullman

I've heard them refered to as Whirley Cranes, Rich.

https://www.americanconstco.com/whirley-yard-cranes

If you search Google images you come up with many images of them and their varied uses. I believe your scenario is correct and plausible.

Regards,  Ed 

Ed, I was hoping to hear from you. Thanks for the link, most interesting. I had never heard the term, Whirley Cranes, so I appreciate that bit of information as well. I just wasn't sure if that would be a proper placement of the crane, so thank you for your input.

Rich

Alton Junction

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Posted by richhotrain on Wednesday, February 5, 2020 5:58 AM

dehusman

Those types of cranes are normall not used to load into a warehouse, they are normally used to unload/load stuff into gons or open top cars.  Most pier warehouses are "single story",  more enclosed buildings with ground level doors instead of loading docks.

If you search for the Hagley Digital Archives, then "Dallin Aerial" and used the lists on the left side to choose a port city and then "piers & wharves" you can get all sorts of aerial shots of port facilites in the 20's thru the 50's. 

Dave, thanks very much for your reply. I was glad to see your name come up in a reply to my question.

So, it sounds like the inclusion of the gantry crane alongside the Front Street Warehouse would be plausible, but that the crane would more likely be used to load waiting railcars and trucks rather than for unloading barge cargo into the warehouse.

The area that I have in mind on my layout is somewhat isolated from the rest of the layout, divided by a river with the mainline running in the background. The area will be populated by warehouses and light industry. So, the Front Street Warhouse and gantry crane provide more of a visual effect than part of a functional port operation. That link to the Hagley Digital Archives was most helpful. Lots of great photos of port facilities and crane operations.

I built the Walthers Front Street Warehouse a few years back, but I never really found a suitable spot on the layout to place it. The Walthers fact sheet says that such a warehouse made it possible to store cargo coming ashore from ships or barges until enough wagons, freight cars or trucks could be made available. On my layout, there isn't a proper space for a rail spur, so I will use simply place some small trucks at the loading docks.

On my layout, the waterfront is situated on the South Branch of the Chicago River. According to the Encyclopedia of Chicago, barges were used in the 1950s (my layout era) to carry coal, scrap, salt, petroleum and building materials. I will focus on the building materials such as brick, lumber, and other such materials in which case temporary warehouse storage becomes more plausible.

Dave, thanks again for your input.

Rich

 

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Posted by richhotrain on Friday, February 14, 2020 7:00 AM

Just wanted to update this thread.

I decided not to go with a gantry crane since it seemed more suited to portside operations than a riverfront warehouse. I still wanted some type of crane to unload product from barges, so I decided upon a pillar crane.

P1020228.jpg

This pillar crane is a kit from JL Innovative Design and, in my opinion, not for the faint of heart. The kit consists of cast metal parts and scrap wood. It requires a lot of filing and trimming to remove flash and rough edges. I chose to use JB Quik Weld - a 2-part epoxy to bind the parts together and that worked well enough. I am not sure why all of the crane parts were not cast metal, but some were cast metal and some were scrap wood.

Rich

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Posted by dehusman on Friday, February 14, 2020 8:22 AM

That kit was previously sold by Alexander Scale Models and dates back to the 1960's (or earlier).

Dave H. Painted side goes up. My website : wnbranch.com

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Posted by richhotrain on Saturday, February 15, 2020 5:44 AM

dehusman

That kit was previously sold by Alexander Scale Models and dates back to the 1960's (or earlier).

Geez, that almost makes the kit as old as me. Laugh

Oh well, I am modeling the mid-50s.

Rich

Alton Junction

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