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Hot Loco Carriers

15220 Views 33 Replies 19 Participants Last post by  Captain Dan
A couple of you have asked me for more details on my 'Hot Loco Carrier' that I showed with my Accucraft Royal Hudson sitting on it.

For those who have not read the facts in The Accucraft Royal Hudson lising, here is what I said:
The Hot Loco Carrier.

The one in the photo was actually the very first one that I built.

I have supplied about 20 over the years to customers, and the later ones had folding handles so that when they were not in use they would take up less space.

As far as instructions are concerned, 1 1/2" x 1 1/2" x 1/8" aluminum angle, with a 1/16" plate screwed underneath so that the angles are rail width apart.

The plate stops about 6" from one end, and the aluminum angle is chamfered on the underside to nearly nothing, so that it will fit over the outside width of the track when the other end of the carrier is lifted and will lock into alignment with the track. I have a piece of dowel wood in the handle that I use to put under the carrier for this use and don't have to hold up the end.

The handles can be made as you like. I like to have at least a foot of handle to allow for ease of balance when carrying.
This will mean that it is not as critical where your loco is placed on the carrier, as you can still make it balance when carrying.
The loco is stopped from rolling in the carrier by use of 'sliding window' locks, the ones with a groove and a locking screw, one on each corner, and a suitable piece of wood to hold the loco back.

I normally glue some foam, or a sponge, onto the wood so that the loco has something soft to press against.
For the 2860 I had to do some cutouts so that the pressure was against the front beam.

Here are a couple of photos that show how I use the sliding window locks at both ends. They are of course adjustable so will accommodate any length of loco that will fit on the aluminum.

This brand has nice sharp point on the end of the adjusting screw, so it really locks the loco in place. Other brands do not, and I found that they are not quite as safe, and tend to move as you tighten them up.

Incidentally, I chose to build them in aluminum because it make then strong, heat resistant in case there is dripping fuel, and also fairly light.
You can also see how the one end is chamfered about half way through the aluminum. This was the first and I have made later one a little thinner at the ends, but you don't want to go too thin because it will break off and also becomes a sharp weapon!

Have any of you other ways to carry hot locos around. Perhaps we can share ideas.
All the best,
David Leech,
Delta, Canada

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Now the window locks make sense. Thanks for the enlarged view. A hot loco carrier will be my winter project.
Hi: I really like the carrier and want to make one for my Hudson when I get around to picking it up in January. Can you tell me how long the carrier needs to be to get the engine and tender in.



Thank you for the detailed info and the photos. Excellent advice about the handle length and dowel.

Hi Bruce,
This carrier is exactly 36" long, and as you can see the Accucraft Royal Hudson just fits on.
If you wanted to make some fancier 'blocks' with foam or something, you would probably need to make it longer.
David Leech,
Delta, Canada
I made one sort of like David's, but used some wood. Wish I had done it his way!

Another view:
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Do you remember the carrier I had at DH last year? It started out as part of the track system that Walt Swartz used to bring to DH.

I purchased it a few years ago at DH and mad a few modifications. For one thing, I cut a hole in it...

so I could see the alcohol burner while firing up.

Removable ramps allow the loco to run onto the rails...

And it folds up neatly for carrying...

I will have it with me in January at DH. You can take a closer look.

See you then.
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Got to advise some caution that David's Hot Loco Carrier is proportioned for 1:32 locomotives. The use of 1-1/2" aluminum angle
to substitute for rails as well as provide longitudinal support is ingenious, but the distance between the vertical "walls" of the aluminum
angle might be too narrow for some 1:20 locos.

After seeing the Hot Loco Carrier's photos I wandered out to the garage with a ruler to see how 1- 1/2" aluminum angle would work
with my 1:19 (and 45 mm gauge) Roundhouse loco. Well, it looked like there could be interference with the homemade cab and the clearance
at the cylinders would be tight. Don't think a K-27 would fit at all, at least how David has described the Hot Loco Carrier's construction.

Locos with loading gauges bigger than 1:32 models might need some design changes to the Hot Loco Carrier, such as moving the aluminum angle
pieces farther apart and adding additional aluminum strips (1/8 x 1/2 ?) 45 mm apart (or 32 mm for some locos) to serve as rails. Then the bottom
piece would maybe need some stiffeners underneath it, or use thicker material.

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Don't set an aluminium carrier on powered track either!
Your comments about clearance are quite correct.
The 1 1/2" angles will only give you 4 1/2" between the 'walls', which is not even enough for a Daylight, so I used 2" x 1 1/2" angle for that to give me 5 1/2" between the walls.
I don't think it would be worthwhile to try and make a 'one size fits all' carrier as there are so many different widths, and heights required in our hobby.
I think that you would tend to build for what you are most normally going to carry, if that makes sense.
All the best,
David Leech,
Delta, Canada
Good thought about the powered track.
Perhaps if the aluminum plate underneath is replaced with plastic, and the handles are insulated, you would be okay, and then if you have an electric loco you can tip the carrier to make contact with the track power and drive your loco on and off.
All the best,
David Leech,
Delta, Canada
Just a "what I did this afternoon."

Using David Leech's idea, I made a loco carrier with a door kick plate for the bottom The kick plates at Lowes was 6"x30." I bought their aluminum one (also the cheapest one.) I then used the 1 1/2 angle and also bought a couple of 1/2" flat strips (all 1/8" thick) I then drilled and tapped holes in the plate and strips and angle and screwed in from the bottom. Even though the plate is thin, it has 24 machine screws going thru it into the aluminum. It all seems to be quite sturdy. I also used the 1/2" x 1/8" strips for the handle straps and a wood dowel for the handle.

The door kick plate let me make the carrier 6" wide. I used the extra 1/2" alum strips for the rail tops. So even with a rather thin door kick plate, I have a total of 4 inches of 1/8" thick aluminum to stiffen the carrier. I built the carrier 18" long for my wife's Catatonk Climax. We will have it at Diamondhead.

Dan Fuller
Carrollton, Texas
A start to a loco carrier:
RailRite: https://www.railrite.com/productcart/pc/viewCategories.asp?idCategory=4

A very hard ridge 3/8" plastic. Does not bend under loco weight. Add handles, maybe sides and end stops.
Hey Guys If you have other "winter projects" than making a loco carrier, consider the Martin TrakrTote. It takes care of most of the issues discussed above.

TrakrTotes handle valuable Live Steam locomotives, especially heavy locos with tenders, easily, quickly, and safely. And TrakrTotes are available for any scale locomotive running on either 45 mm or 32mm track.

If you carried your live steam loco on a TrakrTote, you could:

Run directly onto track in seconds, without. fumbling to get all wheels on the rails.

Avoid having to re-connect drawbars, fuel, water, or R/C servos, on locos with tenders.

Steamup your loco while still on TrakrTote. When steam is up, run your steamer onto track in seconds.

Pickup an out-of-fuel or “ailing” locomotive from nearly anywhere on the railroad.

Recover a derailed or overturned Live Steam loco without burning your fingers. Simply tow the up-righted loco backwards onto TrakrTote, letting wheel flanges drop into flangeways, and return it to the rails.

Turn your loco to reverse direction, from nearly any location; like a portable turntable.

Use TrakrTote like a portable mini-hump yard for “railing” your train cars.

Service and repair locos, even turn your loco on its side on the TrakrTote for repairs.

Set TrakrTote with your locomotive onboard into a carry case. When you arrive at the visited track, set your loco on rails in seconds. Impress your friends!

How does it work? Set TrakrTote down on reasonably straight track at a slight angle. Using carry straps, TrakrTote with loco onboard, can be picked up and moved to storage or where ever you choose. For railroads on the ground, TrakrTote saves your knees.
Now that’s a Live Steam necessity!

For info and price email: [email protected] Or phone 916-773-0933
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Please could we see some action pictures of the famous TrakrTote?
I tried three times to upload and submit photos wiithout success. Email me at: [email protected] and I'll reply with photos or a video clip.

SA 360
Well I do not have any other winter projects so looks like you guys gave me some Ideas to start on a carrier for my LS. Thanks for the good ideas guys. Later RJD

I've posted some pictures of the carriers that I made for my locomotives as well as for others in our group in this past thread. These are very light weight and because the platform is made of wood, you will alleviate any problems with transmitting shock from movement during transport when you have direct metal to metal contact with the drivers and pilot trucks.
I have two of the carriers GNSTEAMER talks about and they work fine. Thye are light weoght. A couple of the guys in our group use the Emartin carriers in the above thread but I find it no so secure for long haul transport.
Also I am clumsy and movig thee engine with straps is not my cup of tea.
For moving the engines from the carrier to track, I have made a tapered wooden piece to transfer engine to track. Have not had to use it yet though. engine is easily trasfered from carrier to track.
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I've built two of these carriers out of Poplar, one for my K-27 and one for my K-28. They secure the locomotives and the handle will protect the loco in a rollover. I find the handle allows balance. My only issue is that I have not yet devised a way to roll directly on to the track, but am working an alluminum solution. I carry the tenders in padded plastic tool boxes.
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