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Steam Cranes.

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by Jamie Glover, Dec 23, 2014.

  1. Jamie Glover

    Jamie Glover Member

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    There seem to be a number of steam cranes located on heritage railways but very few appear to be in working order. Do any railways actually use these items for their original purpose? How many of these machines have actually been preserved on heritage railways?

    I believe that there are operationally dead steam cranes on the East Somerset, the Bluebell and the EVR. Is there still a chance of my seeing a working steam crane anywhere on a British heritage railway in 2015?
     
  2. Hurricane

    Hurricane Member

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    3no steam cranes at the Mid Hants railway (I believe 2no are currently in use), the cranes are still used regularly for lifting jobs all around the railway (Most recent a few weeks back of a Mk1 to remove the bogie). They are usually stored in the headshunt at Alton.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/linda...QP-8CEoRC-8BNxiQ-8BNzgw-8AWdiG-6V33XZ-6bTghG/

    DS1580 - 45 Tonne - Ransome & Rapier
    http://www.watercressline.co.uk/article.php/125/ransome-rapier-45-ton-steam-crane-ds1580

    DS58 - 10 Tonne - Taylor & Hubbard
    http://www.watercressline.co.uk/article.php/124/ds58-10-ton-crane

    DS414 - 10 Tonne - Taylor & Hubbard
    http://www.watercressline.co.uk/article.php/123/ds414-10-ton-crane
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2014
  3. threelinkdave

    threelinkdave Well-Known Member

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    Dont remember its number but the SVR steam crane is is working order. if you can get hold of a copy of SVR News Winter 2014 there is a pic of it conducting a boiler lift on p27.

    I would take one issue re your post "still used for their original purpose". We don't want to use it for its original purpose as that implies an "oops" if you see what I mean.
     
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2014
  4. 32110

    32110 Member

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    The one on the East Somerset had its boiler overhauled and recertified a few years back but there has been no work done on the crane.
     
  5. gwalkeriow

    gwalkeriow Well-Known Member

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    The Nene Valley has a working heavy crane, not sure I think it may be 45t capacity.
     
  6. John Webb

    John Webb New Member

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    The Embsay and Bolton Abbey Railway has two 15 ton steam cranes ex-BR. But I am not clear if they are still in working order and use - the last photos on their website of them working are from 2003.
     
  7. Sidmouth

    Sidmouth Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    What happened to the LNWR one that was ex NRM , disposed of and rescued from a scrapyard I think and now at Crewe Heritage Centre
     
  8. Ploughman

    Ploughman Well-Known Member

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    All queries on large Breakdown Cranes answered here.

    http://www.bdca.org.uk/

    2 cranes on the NYMR
    The one normally resident at Newbridge is currently at Grosmont with the regular crane there.
    The usual Grosmont crane is used regularly for moving boilers etc around the MPD.

    We have used 2 Cranes in tandem on a number of Bridge replacement jobs as well as coach lifts changing bogies.
     
  9. buzby2

    buzby2 New Member

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    Steam Breakdown Crane 1561S (Ransomes & Rapier built August 1940) is based on the Swanage Railway. It was one of three railway breakdown cranes used in the construction of two WW2 cross-channel guns - "Winnie" and "Pooh" - at Martin Mill Military Railway, Dover.
    1561 is being restored progressively to working order and a first test lift was carried out at Norden a few days ago. The first load (12 Tonnes) was lifted to test progress of work and ensure clutches and brakes operated correctly.
    This is part of the process leading to full certification for the crane in the near future it is hoped.
    Incidentally, this was the first lift for the crane in some 25 years and represents a significant milestone in progress.
    http://www.srstock.co.uk/getfile.php?mode=view&id=25 shows 1561 at Harmans Cross sidings during the early stages of restoration.
     
  10. Pesmo

    Pesmo New Member

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    Looking at the BDCA website it was something of a surprise just how many cranes are operational of those that survive. Somewhat Counter intuitively it is the largest 75 ton cranes that have a large proportion active where seven of the remaining eight large rail cranes remain operational, although admittedly they are not steam and a few are owned by network rail. Clearly cranes have an enthusiastic following.
     
  11. Woodster21

    Woodster21 New Member

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    5755Cowans,
    Sheldon1936LNER941591ADRC9522336SteamWorking OrderPeak Rail

    Taken from the BDCA website, the crane at Peak Rail was in working order in Nov 2013
     
  12. richards

    richards Well-Known Member

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  13. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    Interesting that many railways use steam cranes for lifting coaches of their bogies, is this then more economical than using carriage jacks to lift coaches up and a JCB type thing/half a dozen people to move the bogies around?
     
  14. gwalkeriow

    gwalkeriow Well-Known Member

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    If you lucky enough to have a set of Carriage lifting jacks, very jealous of yours:p
     
  15. K14

    K14 Member

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    Certainly more versatile - you can't do a boiler lift with a set of carriage jacks, & you need a dedicated covered facility for the jacks to live in. However I do wonder if lifting from one end puts an undue strain on the centre casting & pin at the other end.

    That said, our Matterson set at Didcot has more than paid for itself in terms of saved labour. Earlier this year we had one of the tin Colletts up in the air for a looking at, took about an hour & a half. If it needs more doing to it, we can slide a set of stands under & just leave it up in the sky without worries. Gone are the days of trying to put together a gang & firkling about with screw jacks, packing & blue air - and good riddance to them.

    Pete S.
     
  16. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    I hadn't thought of the versatility part, although as our C+W works and loco works aren't in the same place we don't have to think about that. I thought I say some carriage jacks on the SR a while ago that weren't under cover? They are certainly very helpful, we can have a coach up and down very quickly.

    Presumably if carriage jacks are one above team cranes then they are more expensive then? From how we use them, I suspect that however much they cost they are worth it.
     
  17. 61624

    61624 Well-Known Member

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    The jacks are very useful for lifting the coach body off bogies, but a crane is useful and versatile for dismantling the bogies once they are out in the open. The NYMR has two sets of jacks, the older set having been replaced by some newer ones, but the older set were not wasted, they were cascaded on to the diesel dept for lifting diesel loco bodies.

    I've always been under the impression that the GWSR is so flat that stuff like brake blocks and wheelsets never wear out there!:D
     
  18. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    It's not exactly the place to go for steep gradients and hearing the locos working hard is it!? We put 7 coaches behind the locos though, just to p*ss off Paul Hitch :D

    We do some stuff with bogies like swapping wheelsets using a large gantry, and I think we replace other bits and pieces although I'm usually at the other end of the restoration process so don't know to much about it.
     
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  19. 61624

    61624 Well-Known Member

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    The LNERCA are hoping to acquire a gantry for use in the Atkins building at Pickering. We'll still do body lifts using the jacks in the main C & W shed, but the gantry would allow us to dismantle bogies for restoration in our own without needing the crane,
     
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  20. ragl

    ragl Member

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    The SVR crane looked superb back in June of this year after repair and a repaint.

    SVR 18-06-14 029.JPG

    Cheers

    Alan
     

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