Railway Preservation News

How to lift a locomotive
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Author:  Bobharbison [ Sun Apr 12, 2015 2:30 am ]
Post subject:  How to lift a locomotive

The topic of moving locomotives and/or cars comes up here fairly often. One recurring theme is just how expensive cranes are. I've seen some pretty outrageous figures tossed out for what it takes to load something on a truck or flatcar using cranes.

If that's something you may have to deal with in your career, or are simply curious, be sure and read the Reading 2100 thread or check out the Trains newswire article and take a look at the jacking system they used. I have no idea what that cost, but I'm going to guess it rents for a lot less than the couple of cranes they'd have needed to do the same job would have.

It would work just as well for rolling stock that's not on the rails, as long as you can move it by truck.

Author:  filmteknik [ Sun Apr 12, 2015 4:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: How to lift a locomotive

My thought was, wow, those house movers (assuming that's who has this stuff) sure have wonderful toys.

Author:  Rick Rowlands [ Sun Apr 12, 2015 8:22 am ]
Post subject:  Re: How to lift a locomotive

They are called "gantries", and I have not yet had the opportunity to use them. Even with gantries a small crane would still be needed to set them up, but I think the overall cost would be less than hiring two high capacity hydraulic cranes to make the lift.

To give an idea as to cost of moving equipment, when I moved J&L 58 in December we needed an 80 ton crane and low boy trailer. For a full day with the crane, boom truck with counterweights and semi truck/trailer cost $5,000. Two months earlier when we moved our rotary converter they sent a 60 ton forklift, semi truck with counterweights, boom truck, and semi for the load. For a full day it cost just shy of $5,000.

Author:  PCook [ Sun Apr 12, 2015 6:33 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: How to lift a locomotive

A nice opportunity for the national organizations to educate preservationists in the tools and technology available to handle these kind of projects and serve as a conduit between people who need to move equipment and those who have the tools to assist them.


Author:  Rick Rowlands [ Sun Apr 12, 2015 11:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: How to lift a locomotive

I think it would be a good idea to keep track of what equipment has been moved, and how it was lifted and what it was hauled on. It would be of great help for those who have similar equipment to move in the future to learn what has worked in the past.

Author:  wurlitzer153 [ Mon Apr 13, 2015 1:19 am ]
Post subject:  Re: How to lift a locomotive

I believe FWRHS used a similar rig when they dropped the drivers on 765 during its last restoration. Similarly, WMSR recently made use of jacks built into their (former car shop IIRC) floor to lift 734 off her drivers. For the 1309 move, they called Hulcher...

Somewhat related, a few years ago a local power plant brought in 3 new turbine rotors. They used two similar but larger gantries to lift them off the barge onto a set of Goldhofer SPMTs. They had to play a bit of musical chairs because they had 3 rotors, 2 gantries, and only 1 carriage. Here's the last one being moved off the barge:

They then had to drive each one 12 miles from the dock to the plant:

Author:  Topfuel [ Mon Apr 13, 2015 2:38 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: How to lift a locomotive

I have never found house movers to be even close to competitive when quoted prices for moving passenger cars over the road. I have always found that one crane and heavy haul dollies is always cheaper (well, cheaper isn't the word, but "less expensive" is really more accurate) than house movers. I'm not sure about using those jacks such as the with the 2100, but I too would be curious about the costs for those.

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