By continuing to use this site, you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more
Forum sponsored by:
Forum sponsored by Allendale Jan 24th

Transporting 5 inch live steam loco

All Topics | Latest Posts

Search for:  in Thread Title in  
Ian R08/11/2010 13:13:54
2 forum posts

I am about to acquire a Polly VI steam loco which I need to transport to my local club track. I have a saloon car and need a method of lifting it in and out of the boot.  I need to be able to move it by myself to the workshop. Its too heavy to lift on my own
Any suggestions
TrevorK08/11/2010 16:51:48
45 forum posts
4 photos
Hi Ian
Maybe a bit obvious, I bought a trailer.  Then I still had the problem of moving it from house to trailer so the next thing was a loco lift table. 
Ian R09/11/2010 12:13:22
2 forum posts

Did you build your own loco lift table or buy one, if so where?
Niloch09/11/2010 13:32:40
371 forum posts
I suspect Trev means something like this
TrevorK09/11/2010 13:51:41
45 forum posts
4 photos
I looked at the motorcycle type lifts, you can find similar ones on ebay.  In the end I decided on the Joe Holdsworth lift kit which has all the features I wanted.  You can see it  at
Mike09/11/2010 14:49:55
713 forum posts
6 photos
Just a thought, but if you wish to carry the loco in your car you could consider a folding engine crane from someone like MachineMart. Its use would, of course, depend on the loco having suitable, safe slinging points. Note that this suggestion does not come from personal experience - I have never owned or transported a 5" steam loco.
Speedy Builder509/11/2010 19:14:50
2441 forum posts
192 photos
I will be making a 'lightweight' travelling hoist - ceiling mounted rail for moving from workshop bench to 'storage shelf' within the small shed, and using a 6 pulley block and tackle for lifting etc. 
 I expect the cost is a bit high, but have you researched mobility hoists for the disabled ? - you may find one on e-bay etc
Chris Kelland15/11/2010 18:34:24
10 forum posts
I made a cradle for my Simplex, a piece of track with a lifting handle at each end and an angle iron frame. Using a lifting table as previously shown I can bring this from my workshop and slide it straight into the back of my car with very little effort. At the club track I again slide it out onto the unloading ramp.
DMB16/11/2010 10:30:46
1187 forum posts
1 photos
Hullo all,
 Ref Niloch, 9/11, the main picture on Machine Mart`s site, of their trolley. This is as used satisfactorily for sometime now by Worthing Model Engineers, who have actually modified it with an extension to the table and fitted rails to the table. 
John Farmer 211/10/2021 17:32:38
8 forum posts

I have a 150kg lifting table bought new on Ebay about 5 years ago quite a bit cheaper than M/c Mart but still good quality. Ideal for moving w/shop machinery too.

I am also hoping to buy a 5" loco soon but my concern us how to hold it in place in the car (estate car in my case). What do others do - photos would be useful.


duncan webster11/10/2021 18:28:18
3581 forum posts
65 photos

If you mean saloon as opposed to hatchback then it gets more difficult. I too am unable to get locos to the track as old age means I can't lift them any more. That's why I'm making a smaller one, bit of a race between finishing it and decrepitude. It's even more problematical in my case as there are 2 steps down from the only available door, and the drive is then on a 1 in 10 slope away. What I'm considering is a bit of track made from angle in the boot arranged across the car but with a pivot at one end. Then it can be swung out around a vertical pivot to line up with either a trolley at my end, or the unloading ramp at the club. I only then have to lift half the weight at worst. If I allow a bit of a hinge about an axis across the rails it will accommodate minor height issues. If the loco is fairly heavy it makes the back of the car go down as it is loaded in.

If you have a high sill at the back of the boot even this gets to be an issue. When you've sorted it let us know so I can copy.

Off the wall idea, you can get a sort of crane arrangement for lifting invali9d scooters into the boot. These fasten somehow into the boot, so should be fairly stable. If you go down this route make sure the slinging prevents the loco rotating about its long axis. crane Not sure how well it goes with a saloon tho, and I'll bet they are not cheap

Nigel Graham 211/10/2021 18:28:42
1767 forum posts
22 photos

John =

For transport, one way is to fit a length of simple track to a broad base-board. The rails could be square-section steel tube with radiussed edges but avoid sharp edges or angle-steels with an upright web.

Provide the board with suitably-placed eye-bolts and hold the loco to them with appropriate rope or tape slings, protecting thin plate-work and the paint with suitable padding. They are best arranged diagonally or at low compound angles to give lateral and longitudinal security as well as preventing over-turning.

Wooden, clip-on stop-blocks against the buffers wil add rigidity.

Old blankets or similar under the base board will give some insulation from road shocks.

Oh - and hide the loco while it's in the car.....

Dave Smith 1411/10/2021 18:49:53
199 forum posts
40 photos

This is what I use. It is simple scissor frame pivoted onto the lower frame and upper frame at one one. The other ends have sealed bearings run along the upper and lower frames. A car scissor jack provides the movement to raise and lower the upper frame and is arrange to give around a 2:1 motion ratio. No fancy machining needed, cheap to build, does not take up a huge amount of room and the loco can live on it in the workshop or garage which at present my Super Simplex does. If you want some more detailed photos let me know.



Edited By Dave Smith 14 on 11/10/2021 18:52:30

Peter Seymour-Howell11/10/2021 19:08:28
110 forum posts
25 photos

Can't help re carrying in the car, I still need to buy a suitable car to move my 5" loco when it's finished. For lifting in the workshop I built myself a lifting hoist with a swinging jib to swing the model out and lower to the trolley. This setup didn't cost me much, the scaff fittings and tube were picked up off ebay for very little money, the swinging arm IIRC was about £50, and the hoist approx £40. Perhaps another £30 for chain and D shackles. The loco when finished will be approx 280lb, the hoist can lift twice that, the chain/shackles about 10 times that, and the jib about 400lbs at full stretch, more if at the halfway mark. I can swing the model around 180 too when needing to work on the other side. I also have a long mobil trolley for sitting the model on and moving around the workshop..

As you can see the loco is lifted by a sturdy steel beam and held from the same lifting points as per full size, D shackles on the front and large hooks grabbing the drag-box for the rear..


Bazyle11/10/2021 19:32:39
6079 forum posts
221 photos

My loco is firmly fixed inside a sturdy ply transport box - full 6 sides it also hides it from view if necessary. Moving is then a case of how do you move any 150lb wooden crate, though don't get carried away. You may have emptied the side tanks but did you remember the lubricator was still full surprise.

Ex warehouse hydraulic flat topped lifting table move locos, lathes, other strange things though the minimum height of 1ft meant I had to make the storage trolley higher.

Incidently what is the best car for a model engineer? I wish I had bought one of those van derived cars like Peugot Partner etc. Hoping they bring out a hybrid version of that style before my Fiesta wears out and the world goes impractically all electric.

Jon Lawes11/10/2021 20:45:56
688 forum posts

I use a motorcycle lift, the type advertised as Motorcycle Hydraulic Scissor lift. It cost me about £110, (pre-brexit, things may have changed). I pump it up to the height of the workbench (which is effectively full extension), slide the transport box onto it, wheel the whole assembly out to the car, then lower it to my boot. I can then just lift it one side at a time into the boot. I chose a car with no lip on the boot for this reason, an XC40. At no point do I have to do any heavy lifting; I'm an amputee and carrying things can be quite difficult.

My transport case is marine ply with two lengths of railway track on it, when you lower the box over the top and clip it on, the buffers prevent it rolling back and forth. The main advantage of the transport case for me is not worrying if anything else in the boot is peeling off handrails and such.

Simon Collier11/10/2021 21:35:22
432 forum posts
60 photos

I have never owned sedan cars, only station wagons. I see no disadvantage. When my old Camrey 1993 got rusty, I bought my brother’s Subaru Liberty wagon. However I discovered to my absolute horror that the rear seats don’t fold flat, as they always have done on wagons. Traditional wagons like Holdens and Falcons had longer chassis than the sedan equivalent and could fit heaps of stuff on a flat deck. None are made anymore, giving way to these so called SUVs which are no substitute at all.
I can get my Simplex in the Subaru alright, but not my Sprinkbok. I built a raised plywood deck for it but it is a poor solution. Club members have wagons, trailers, hatch backs, vans and SUVs. Not one lifts a loco out of a car boot.

Speedy Builder512/10/2021 06:38:41
2441 forum posts
192 photos

Following others, I have built a detachable frame which 1) allows the loco to be securely fixed to it and 2) also allows it to be suspended for running on air etc.



And bought one (but its in the post at the moment ! ) of these trolleys for transport, shed to car / garden etc.

Thinking about a rail clamped to roof rack overhanging the back of the car so I could hoist loco and frame into the car ??


Edited By Speedy Builder5 on 12/10/2021 06:40:39

Anthony Kendall12/10/2021 10:02:59
114 forum posts

The way I do it - it works for me.
Machine Mart, extended with plywood gives more area for working and easier access to car. Removable end-stop to prevent rolling off.

Use over-run rails to get up and under for quick jobs.

What would I do differently - buy a truck which went lower - going low is at least as important as going high!

Get on better without rails - easier to move loco around on the top.

Like I say, how I do it - not saying anyone else should - you get the drift. Pictures may work - if not, you'll have to imagine it!

No good!

Luker13/10/2021 12:31:12
94 forum posts
93 photos

My transport system... Single sturdy transport frame interconnecting with everything else.





All Topics | Latest Posts

Please login to post a reply.

Magazine Locator

Want the latest issue of Model Engineer or Model Engineers' Workshop? Use our magazine locator links to find your nearest stockist!

Find Model Engineer & Model Engineers' Workshop

Latest Forum Posts
Support Our Partners
rapid Direct
walker midge
JD Metals
Eccentric July 5 2018
Eccentric Engineering
Subscription Offer

Latest "Wanted" Ads
Get In Touch!

Do you want to contact the Model Engineer and Model Engineers' Workshop team?

You can contact us by phone, mail or email about the magazines including becoming a contributor, submitting reader's letters or making queries about articles. You can also get in touch about this website, advertising or other general issues.

Click THIS LINK for full contact details.

For subscription issues please see THIS LINK.

Digital Back Issues

Social Media online

'Like' us on Facebook
Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter
 Twitter Logo

Pin us on Pinterest