The Program

For the 2014/15 season, the SLD is hosting another leader lead project - this one will focus on the scratch building of Railroad Loading Ramp.

The prototype for our project appeared in a recent article in the NMRA publication - Scalerails. The article covered the Erie Railroad loading ramps located in Warsaw, New York.

The author, Harold Russell included photographs and a prototype drawing along with details regarding the prototype. We have included the text here in case you are not able to locate a copy of the article. Lorne has also re-drawn the plans for use in this workshop.

These unloading ramps were located at the Erie's grade crossing west of Warsaw, New York. Ramps such as these are common where lading must be transferred from a railroad car to trucks. This facility had two ramps. The first, the shortest of the two, was located at the end of the spur while the second paralleled the siding and served the side doors of cars. Modelled together as the pprototype was, they could provide significant revenue for your model railroad.

The general construction of both ramps is the same using 12 x 12 inch posts and horizontal caps. The stringers are 3 1/2 inch x 11 1/4 inch on approximate 16 inch centres. The flooring is made of 2 1/2 x 11 1/2 inch boards.The edge of the flooring extends 2 1/2 inches beyond the outside of the stringers. Diagonals to keep the ramp from racking are 1 1/2 x 9 inches.

The top of the flooring of a typical flatcar is 41 inches off the railhead and the top of a boxcar's flooring is typically 51 inches. I suggest you measure the heights of your model's flooring to get the proper heights for your ramps. Note that the roadbed is elevated above the surrounding terrain. Thus, the actual height of your model above the ground could be about 8 to 12 inches greater.

Metal plates were used to bridge the gap between the ramp and the car.

When built, the wood of the ramps was not painted, and over time the boards weathered. Therefore, you may want to simulate this with a stain. Leave several floorboards unstained or lightly stained to simulate recent replacements. The metal parts once painted black were a dark rust colour.

Follow the links on the left as we progress through the project.


This Web page is maintained by Grant Knowles and was last updated on Jan 02, 2015.