Railway Preservation News

Big Hooks
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Author:  Rick Rowlands [ Wed Jun 10, 1998 5:19 am ]
Post subject:  Big Hooks

There is one type of railroad equipment that is often overlooked in preservation, and that is big hooks. Sure, there are many preserved in museums around the country, but many of the ones I have seen are tucked in the back lots or sitting without having had any maintenance or care for ages.<p>Big Hooks are quite fascinating pieces of railroad equipment, and deserving of more attention from the museums they are in. A steam powered wrecking derrick returned to operation would be a huge attraction when out demonstrating its functions. Our historical society has just acquired a 250 ton diesel crane, and have found it to be the main attraction of our small museum. <p>Does anyone reading this have any experiences restoring big hooks that could be shared, or insights on how to properly interpret the importance of the these machines at museums? <br><br>


Author:  Ron Goldfeder [ Thu Jun 11, 1998 10:15 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Big Hooks

One of the most striking museum exhibits I've seen was at Sinsheim, Germany, where the Auto + Technic Museum had a very large wrecking crane in the parking lot with its boom at what must have been maximum elevation. A small four-wheel industrial switcher was hanging from the outer sheeve of the boom, just a few feet off the rails. This is lit a night and can be seen from the nearby autobahn, with the museum sign next to it. I know this doesn't speak about restoration or operation, but it shows how such a item can be used to call attention to the museum.<br>


Author:  Burlington John [ Fri Jun 19, 1998 6:01 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Big Hooks

Suggest you get ahold of the folks at the Illinois RR Museum in Union. I think (memory is fuzzy) that they have a former C&NW hook that they use.<p>Regards,<br>Burlington John<br><br>


Author:  Randall Hicks [ Sat Jun 20, 1998 5:08 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Big Hooks

IRM's Big Hook is a 100-ton Industrial built in 1906, from the C&WI, not C&NW. It is still used occasionally for heavy lifting, sometimes for public viewing. In recent years it has been operated on compressed air rather than its own steam - I think perhaps the boiler is no longer certified. We also have some smaller Diesel-powered cranes.<br>

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