It is currently Thu Nov 23, 2017 11:53 pm

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 6 posts ] 
Author Message
 Post subject: Restoration of the Boyertown, PA Phoenx Column Crane
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 12:23 pm 

Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:04 pm
Posts: 91
Location: PA
Finished in 1869, the Colebrookdale Railroad connected the sleepy town of "Boyer's Corner" with the rest of the industrial world. Boyertown, as it was to become, had quite the little rail yard. To help unload cars there was a crane installed. Typical of many cranes in many Reading Co towns, this Phoenix Iron Co. built crane is believed to have been built in 1867. It is among the oldest and largest Phoenix Columns left and most likely the only Phoenix Column crane still standing.

But what IS a Phoenix Column?

In the 1800's it was very difficult to build sturdy supports for structures. To combat this, the Phoenix Iron Co. of Phoenixville, Pa designed an iron version of the Greek column. Their engineers figured out that 4, 6, or 8 pieces of C channel riveted together in a circle could sustain much heavier loads than a cast or hollow column of one piece. Phoenix Columns became a favorite of pre-turn-of-the-century builders and were employed around the world.

Restoration

Due to her relative rarity, The Colebrookdale Railroad Preservation Trust is cleaning up the Lady Phoenix of Boyertown where she had guarded the corner of Washington Street and Third for almost a century and a half. Her restoration is the kick off for the restoration of the Colebrookdale Railroad as a whole.

Time has been very kind to the old crane and only minimal pitting is evident. To stave off further rust, we coated it in a rust killing primer follower by a thicker primer sealer followed by a heavy duty gloss black enamel. The crane will the be pin striped much in the way hit-and-miss engines are to further enhance her beauty.

Special thanks to:
Nathaniel Guest, CRPT Pres.
Rich Tobin, CRPT
Roger Lehman
The Lions Club of Boyertown
The Borough of Boyertown
Trevor Bosler
The McEvoy Company employees

Please follow our Facebook page: Colebrookdale Railroad-The Secret Valley Line to find pictures of the project.

Preston McEvoy
CRPT Corporate Secretary
Crane Restoration Project Manager

_________________
I am sure it has truly been said that no other product of Man's mind has ever exercised such a compelling hold upon the public's imagination as the steam locomotive...

-R. F. Hanks
Swindon Locomotive Works
March 18, 1960


Last edited by Preston J. McEvoy on Fri Nov 08, 2013 2:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Restoration of the Boyertown, PA Phoenx Column Crane
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 2:07 pm 

Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:04 pm
Posts: 91
Location: PA
Thank you Jeff.

_________________
I am sure it has truly been said that no other product of Man's mind has ever exercised such a compelling hold upon the public's imagination as the steam locomotive...

-R. F. Hanks
Swindon Locomotive Works
March 18, 1960


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Restoration of the Boyertown, PA Phoenx Column Crane
PostPosted: Fri Nov 08, 2013 5:06 pm 

Joined: Sat Feb 06, 2010 1:33 am
Posts: 33
Hey Guys, I work at the old Philadelphia-Reading shop at 7th and Chestnuts streets and we have those columns all throughout this place. The ones we have are smaller I am sure. They measure 10" in diameter and are comprised of 4 pieces of channel riveted together with a piece of plate steel sandwiched in between. Members of the Reading Railroad Historical and Technical Society took a tour through here last year and I remember them saying " these most be Phoenix Columns! Cool to know the history of them. Best Regards Paul


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Restoration of the Boyertown, PA Phoenx Column Crane
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 1:29 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:23 am
Posts: 436
Location: Strasburg, PA
Congratulations to all involved. The scenes and structures along this branch capture the essence of the P&R. I see that a day trip is in order ...

_________________
Steve


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Restoration of the Boyertown, PA Phoenx Column Crane
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 3:45 pm 

Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 5:46 am
Posts: 2447
Location: S.F. Bay Area
Phoenix columns are cool. I think they could make sense for modern construction too, in the sense that you are building a hefty beam out of much lighter materials, then riveted, hucked, bolted or welded together. Among other things you have to hoist much lighter sections of material. Say if you had to mule or helicopter in the material etc.

It could be strengthened further by adding a plate that cuts across the circular section, preventing it from bowing. The plates needn't be tall and in fact could alternate directions or even have a twist.

It's like the quonset hut of I-beams.


Offline
 Profile  
 
 Post subject: Re: Restoration of the Boyertown, PA Phoenx Column Crane
PostPosted: Mon Nov 11, 2013 9:43 pm 

Joined: Tue Feb 07, 2012 8:04 pm
Posts: 91
Location: PA
Thanks for the positive responses!

@rob Some Phoenix stuff had a "sandwich" plate if they were over a certain height and over a certain tonnage rating. I do not know what the standards were off the top of my head though.

_________________
I am sure it has truly been said that no other product of Man's mind has ever exercised such a compelling hold upon the public's imagination as the steam locomotive...

-R. F. Hanks
Swindon Locomotive Works
March 18, 1960


Offline
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 6 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 5 hours [ DST ]


 Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot], DWH, Google [Bot], Robby Peartree, WVNorthern and 52 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to: