The crane tender had two jobs: to protect the crane's boom and enable it to be coupled with other cars on the way to a wreck site, and to carry the tools, chains, slings and other gear needed to clear a wreck. Unlike the crane itself, which was a precision piece of gear made by a specialized company, the crane tender was usually a home-built affair, cobbled together from whatever a railroad's shop crew had lying around. Our model represents a typical such car, built from an older flatcar and part of an obsolete or wreck-damaged outside-braced wooden box car, now functioning as an equipment shed.
The rest of a typical wreck train usually had the same hand-me-down look. Passenger and freight cars no longer fit for revenue service were recycled into crew, equipment, and tool cars for wreck and maintenance of way service.
High quality, traditionally sized RailKing Freight Cars provide detailed bodies and colorful paint schemes for the O Gauge railroader. MTH makes an enormous variety of RailKing Freight Cars, including many different car types and roadnames. No matter what era or part of the country you are modeling, RailKing is sure to have something for you.