Railway Preservation News

Wreck Derrick weight
Page 4 of 4

Author:  Dennis Storzek [ Fri Jan 11, 2013 2:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Wreck Derrick weight

dinwitty wrote:
I don't believe the cranes had the high volume demands a locomotive did, I would be sure they were all hand fired. Like the Steam engines I don't think any had specific tenders assigned, just nab what was available.

Since tenders don't typically have couplers on their bunker end, I doubt it was "grab what was available". I'm sure photos of the crane when still in service on the N&W will show some older tender that has been downgraded to work service and equipped with a coupler coupled to it.These things were normally kept coaled, water topped off, and ready to go. From a recent series of articles by the late Bill Raia in the Soo Line society magazine, it sounds like the only thing that needed to be loaded on the Soo wreck trains when the call came was groceries.

Author:  Howard P. [ Fri Jan 11, 2013 3:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Wreck Derrick weight

"...it sounds like the only thing that needed to be loaded on the Soo wreck trains when the call came was groceries."

That was pretty standard on most railroads. One of the reasons the wreck train (or "auxiliary" in Canada, or "tool train" on the New Haven) was kept near the roundhouse was that the crane was usually connected to house steam, thereby being hot and ready to go at a moment's notice. The wreck gang and wreckmaster were usually shop or car repair track employees, who dropped everything when the call came for the wrecker.

Best portrayal of this sequence of events is "Danger Lights" (with only a slight bit of Hollywood schmaltz).

Now, a railroad manager simply has Hulcher or RJ Corman on speed-dial. The invoice is soon to follow!

Howard P.

Author:  cwood1218 [ Fri Jan 11, 2013 4:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Wreck Derrick weight

I found this in the norfolk and western historical society archives lists. I would be curious to see what the slide shows.
NW01174 Picture NW01174 NW Wreck Crane #514908 being scrapped

Author:  Terry Harper [ Fri Jan 11, 2013 5:14 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Wreck Derrick weight

I would say this is indeed my favorite thread in a long, long time! Great save great work!
If I could make just one request it would be for more photos of the site before the clean-up. Its like playing where's Waldo.

Please, please keep us posted.


Author:  Mr.Pullman [ Fri Jan 11, 2013 11:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Wreck Derrick weight

Howard, Terry and others, another neat fact about Virginia Scrap Iron & Metal Company is that they did help another well-known steamer return to active service. N&W M-1 475, presently in operation on the Strasburg RR. I know this has been discussed here before but I figure given this thread it would be related to list and share the image below.

Image credit (Paul McGrane)

As the image shows it's the then 475 as she was retired after performing duties all dolled up being back dated for special runs a on the N&W! The image shows the 475 stored having been sold for scrap. Main rod setting on the running boards and coupled to the N&W 1118 in front and one of the two tenders behind. All the equipment in this image ultimately has been saved.

Correction (The tender to the left in the picture was not one of the tenders left in the scrap yard with the rest of the lost engines and equipment, the ultimate disposition of this tender is unknown to me)

With the N&W 475 slipping out many years earlier she has long been back in service providing joy to those fortunate to see her under steam.

Author:  Howard P. [ Sat Jan 12, 2013 9:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Wreck Derrick weight

Steve, is that shot of 475 taken at the same spot the other engines sat in for years? Is that the Winston-Salem line in the forground?

I have a broadside 2 x 3 neg of 475 with that fake stack, on what looks like a fan trip (open-door combine right behind tender, mainline track, gantry position light signal). So N&W sold 475 just like all the others, and then VSI&M sold her off? I thought no one could deal with the owner of VSI&M back in the day. That's why the big Y-class locos were cut up, I was told.

This whole story just gets deeper and more interesting. It's not too far off Sandy Mitchell's "what if?" piece in "Loco & Railway Preservation" magazine, about an American version of Barry Scrapyard in the UK.

Howard P.

Author:  CBQ483 [ Sat Jan 12, 2013 10:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Wreck Derrick weight

Howard P. wrote:
I thought no one could deal with the owner of VSI&M back in the day. That's why the big Y-class locos were cut up, I was told

Actually, a deal to preserve at least one and possibly both of the Y6bs had been arranged with the scrap yard. Fundraising had begun to come up with the money to purchase the engines when ownership of that scrap yard changed (I don't recall if the owner passed away or was bought out). The arrangement to purchase the engines was discussed with the new owner who would honor the deal but payment was due immediately. None of the organizations in Roanoke had the funds available at that time, so the engines were cut before anything could be done.

Author:  dinwitty [ Sat Jan 12, 2013 11:18 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Wreck Derrick weight

the 475 shown was at the location of the other lost engines.

Author:  rjenkins [ Sat Jan 12, 2013 2:07 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Wreck Derrick weight

The tender behind 475's tender in that photo doesn't look like one of the two that survived. Both of the surviving tenders had their hungry boards cut down for A tank service, this one still has them in place. Looks like a smaller and older style than the 15,000 and 16,000 gallon tenders that survived too. It has obviously been separated from its engine (since we're looking at the engine end of it), but considering that 475 went into the yard almost a decade after 1118 and the other survivors, it seems unlikely that this tender would have been one of theirs. I wonder what it's story was.

Also, a belated congrats on the crane move! Scanning over this thread I seem to have missed where she's going, is it the VMT or the Roanoke Chapter NRHS?

Author:  Gary Gray [ Sat Jan 12, 2013 9:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Wreck Derrick weight

The "Y6" saga is much as Lewis (CBQ483) describes, with a few corrections. The engines were at United Iron & Metal, not VSI&M. United was about 1/4 mile north of VSI&M, on the other side of the N&W/VGN crossing and interchange. The two locomotives were 2143, a Y6A, and 2174, a "B". 2174 still had it's tender. The Roanoke Chapter had a verbal agreement to buy the 2174, which would then be displayed at the city's "Roanoke Transportation Museum". (VMT's predecessor) The yard owner died, and the estate sold out to a British investment company. They gave us 7 days to come up with the money, then started "liquidating" everything in the yard. Bill Purdie came up and salvaged a lot of mechanical goodies, this stuff is still around on engines that operated in the "old" Steam Program. All of this took place in the mid-1970's. Nothing remains of United, just an empty field between the old N&W & VGN tracks.

Richard, At this point the crane belongs to VMT. However, Bev is threatening to give it to us.......... :)

Author:  whodom [ Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Wreck Derrick weight

Gary- I heard a tale about a Roanoke scrapyard back in the 1980's (the actual story may have occurred in the 70's). I heard this from the then-new general foreman at the Bellevue Locomotive Shop, who had recently moved up from Roanoke.

He said that a few years earlier, it had come to someone's attention in Roanoke that they missing several gondolas. A little investigation showed the gondolas had all been dispatched on local freights in Roanoke. Apparently it was normal practice for the scrapyards there to request a gondola that they could load with scrap. The local crew would set one out at the scrapyard, who would move it inside their fenced compound until they'd filled it. They'd shove it back out and request the railway to come pick it up. The way he told it, this was all a pretty informal operation and apparently not much was kept in the way of records.

Anyway, whoever was investigating the mystery finally figured out one scrapyard was requesting about twice as many gondolas to be set off at their siding as they were requesting to be picked up. He did a little further checking (including looking over some fences) and found that this one scrapyard would get a gondola set off, pull it into their yard and scrap it! Then they'd request a second gondola, load the remains of the first gondola in it along with whatever other scrap they had and call for the gon to be picked up. Apparently they did this for a year or so before they got caught.

Sounds like a tall tale to me, but it is a good story...

Author:  Gary Gray [ Tue Jan 15, 2013 11:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Wreck Derrick weight

Hugh, I find that story entirely believable......

Author:  survivingworldsteam [ Wed Jan 16, 2013 7:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Wreck Derrick weight

Steve, Gary;

Congratulations on saving this steam crane; well done! When I heard the lost engines had been saved, I wondered about the crane, knowing it was at a different site. I am delighted to hear it was rescued as well, an amazing preservation story you are writing there in Roanoke.

Page 4 of 4 All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]
Powered by phpBB © 2000, 2002, 2005, 2007 phpBB Group