There is a short spur on my layout that is too small for a structure, so I figured it would be great as a team track. However, just having a box car sitting there seemed "empty" somehow. I decided to build a small platform, which makes it easier for the local merchants to off-load the goods from the box car. The project started by taking some measurements of the available space next to the track. I based my design on PRR design #56570, as found in Jeff Scherb's book, Trackside on the Pennsylvania, Volume 2. The flat part of the platform shown in the next photo measures 28 scale feet long, and 8 feet wide at the widest (4 feet at the narrow end). The base frame was made out of scale 12" square boards.
Next, I used scale 2x6 boards and covered the top surface. I then used a knife and worked on aging individual boards.
I used some 5x5 posts to form the legs of the platform. These will be hidden from view, so I used whatever material I had available and wouldn't need too often.
I glued some 5x6 boards to those legs. These will form the back support for the next step.
I used 2x6 boards to "skirt" the entire circumference of the structure, except for the wide end where there will be a ramp.
According to the book referenced above, the ramp needs a 4-to-1 slope. So, using some simple geometry, I could determine the length of the ramp. The structure is about three and a half feet tall.
The ramp was made out of the same 12" square boards, which were carefully cut at the appropriate angles and glued to the main structure. I then went back and applied the 2x6 boards on top of those boards.
I grabbed the knife again, and went to work on the top of the boards. This time imagining years of boxes, barrels, pallets, etc. being moved, dragged, and scraped across the platform.
I installed the same 2x6 vertical boards under the ramp as well. I roughed up those boards too.
I decided to not use any wood stains for this project. Instead, I used the famous india-ink-and-alcohol mixture and applied two heavy coats of the ink. This gave the structure a nice, old-gray look. The individual boards reacted differently to the ink, so they don't all look alike. The ink really accentuates the grooves and gashes I had made earlier. This was a fun project. It just took me a few relaxing evenings to build this structure.