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The Steamer’s Friend: The HO Scale Cripple Creek Water Tower from Menards
Steam locomotives are thirsty creatures, and railroads devoted considerable resources into placing water towers along the line to keep the trains rolling. This water tower will be all you need to keep your steam-powered fleet in service.
The Basics: This is a fully assembled and decorated railroad water tower. The base is covered in grass and has eight support legs and a square wooden box to protect the tower’s water supply. The base is approximately 3-3/4 by 3-3/4 inches, and the structure is 7-3/8 inches high. No power is required.
Why you need this: This is a universal design that would look good servicing the largest HO gauge steamers or a tea kettle switcher. The wood construction would date it from the earlier part of the last century, but you can find towers like this still in service on some tourist railways.
The building has nice color contrasts with varying shades of brown the structural support columns, the central water column beneath the tank, and the tank itself. There is an access ladder running the length of one side and a water depth gauge on the front. The roof is simulated metal and has two steps and a hatch just above the ladder.
The water spout can be raised and lowered manually. There is a metal counterweight attached to the spout by a chain. The weight raises or lowers depending on the position of the spout.
The compact footprint of the tower makes it a good candidate for placement alone, out in the wilderness along your mainline or right next to your engine maintenance shop. Even if you don’t run steam right now, you might want to buy one because you never know when you’ll need one.