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Live Steam Gadgets and Gizmos

Here's a spot where folks can share little devices and ideas for the Live Steam/Diesel hobby.


Double-Stack Storage submitted by Ken Stanfield
I am always looking for better ways to store ‘stuff’. Of course, rail cars are a special class of ‘stuff’ and therefore require special handling. Equipment storage became a problem when I realized that my shop floor space was decreasing as the number of cars on hand increased . Finally, a simple solution came to mind – double-stacks! By stacking cars on top of each other I could store up instead of out. I wanted to do this cheaply and without damage to the cars since I am storing them for a friend.    Click Here for more information.

Switch Throw

Here is a super easy to build turnout throw mechanism. I purchased the throw and springs from the McMaster/Carr Company. You can order them at  In addition to the springs and the throw, you will need a stainless (preferred) 5/16 rod, 7" long.  The rod will need to be threaded about 2" in from each end. You will need a piece of flat stock 1/8th x 3/4" x 8" long.  Drill a hole a little larger then 5/16 bolt (about 1/2") on one end. On than same end measure in 1 1/2" in and bend it to 90 degrees.  Round off the corners of that end. The throw, part number 5093A84., The springs, part number 9657K158.  click images

Pneumatic Ballast Tamp

You know, I like to think the idea is so simple that our club isn't the only one to have "invented" this.   Start with this:  LONG REACH AIR SCRAPER and weld a piece of angle iron on the end of the blade to provide a blunt tamping face. Then you hook it up to compressed air and watch people line up for a chance to tamp ballast!   Submitted by Jon Hollahan from a suggestion by Bob Fivey, Tradewinds & Atlantic Railroad

Tie Replacement Car

Have you ever been replacing rotted ties all day.  You have to dig out the old tie, then try to hold the new tie tight to the bottom of the rail with one hand while you try to start the screws and drive them into the tie with the other hand.  Well after a day of this my back said there has got to be a better way.  That was the birth of the NEW, patten pending, back saving, super-dooper tie replacement car.  I didn't want to build another car so I made the Tie Replacement Maintenance of Way crane to fit on the end of a "T" rider and it works GREAT.  Originally seen in the LCRR newsletter.  

Ralph Tucker

Finally, you can get your heavy equipment back on track with this Re-railer more information

click images


Send in your Gadget or Gizmo!

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