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Sugar cane trucks

by Philip Brockbank (railwayman198)

These Cuban style cane trucks are a straightforward modification of LGB pulpwood cars that can easily be restored to original condition if desired.
The inspiration came from this photograph on Jack Treves excellent Voie Metrique site:
I wanted a rake of four and I knew that a lot of repetitive work would try my patience (it's supposed to be for enjoyment, after all). I opted for this 'quick and dirty' method to give me robust, free running wagons.
The pulpwood wagons were purchased and the loads removed and consigned to the bits box. I reckoned that if I could add reasonably convincing side grids then it was job done. I noticed that the wire grids on those cheap disposable mini barbeques looked about the right spacing so I decided to use them. The advantage was that most of the soldering was already done for me (and they were very cheap). All that was needed was to snip them to the right length, fit a top rail and find a way of fixing them to the wagon. I used brass channel for the top edge with a centre stiffener of square brass tube that's an interference fit in the stake socket on the wagon. Track pins were soldered to the ends of the top rail. These slot into brackets (made from bent pins) fitted to the top corners of the bulkheads.
Here's the first off the production line out on the track:
Time for a coat of paint. I used Rover 'desert sand' from Halfords.
The wagons were stuffed with straw to represent cane.
And here's the whole rake heading a somewhat unlikely mixed train. I must have been load testing at the time.