Railway Preservation News

Remaining wreckers
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Author:  Brian Manning [ Tue Feb 28, 2017 9:03 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Remaining wreckers

It has been pulled out of service since 2014, requiring a new boiler.

Author:  John T [ Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Remaining wreckers

Thanks, I will update my files. These photos were taken about six years after your wrecker was built but give an idea of what the Bucyrus plant looked like.

US Government cranes
160 ton https://catalog.archives.gov/id/45486406
150 ton https://catalog.archives.gov/id/45486404
150 ton https://catalog.archives.gov/id/45486402
150 ton https://catalog.archives.gov/id/45486400

Author:  John T [ Wed Mar 01, 2017 3:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Remaining wreckers

Here are three more "maybes". Anyone have any newer information on them?

3930 160t W 1919 Norfolk & Western #4967 to #514901 $49,931.77
(converted to diesel) retired 01-11-62
Alton & Southern RR East St. Louis, IL (here 1965)
Ontario Northland Ry #503 North Bay, ON
Ottawa Valley Ry #503 North Bay, ON 10-96 (here 2008)
4408 160t W 1924 Canadian National Ry #50004 (to diesel)
Hudson Bay Ry #50004 1997 (here 2011)
5112 200t W 1930 Canadian National #50016 (conv to diesel)
unknown scrap dealer Kamloops, BC
Kelowna Pacific Ry #50016 Vernon, BC (here 06-11)

Author:  Alexander D. Mitchell IV [ Thu Mar 16, 2017 7:31 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Remaining wreckers

Chalk up another one to the "(Possibly) Saved" category:

A mate of mine reports spotting a CSX derrick (985250) and auxiliary flat (992674) at Spruce Pine, NC on the former Clinchfield yesterday, with NCMX reporting marks added, apparently for the North Carolina Transportation Museum.


Author:  John T [ Thu Mar 16, 2017 9:20 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Remaining wreckers

Thanks for the nfo on the Spruce Pine wrecker. I thaught it had been moved to Spencer already. Here is what I have on it:

Industrial Brownhoist C/N 11729 250 tons Wrecker Steam (to diesel 1970) 1946
Atlantic Coast Line RR #65358
Seaboard Cost Line RR #765250
Seaboard System #765250 (converted to diesel & new boom 1970)
CSXT #985250 Waycross, GA
Bud Phillips-Mitchel Lbr. Co. Spruce Pine, NC 1993
NCTM 07-16 (still at Spruce Pine 03-15-17)
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... id=3169768
(This crane and Canadian Pacific #414501 have the same C/N.)

Author:  whodom [ Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Remaining wreckers

Question: does anyone know how many wreckers the ACL would have had in service in the 1950's/1960's?

In general,did mainline railroads have many wreckers or just a few?

Author:  John T [ Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Remaining wreckers

All I can tell you is that 13 ACL wreckers passed to SCL in the merger. Most roads had a wrecker at every division point.

Author:  whodom [ Sat Mar 18, 2017 7:02 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Remaining wreckers

^ thanks for that info, John.

One of my earliest memories is watching 2 ACL wreckers clean up a derailment at my hometown of Salters, SC. I'd guess this was about 1961. Salters is located on the ACL mainline about halfway between Florence and Charleston.

I remember thinking it was odd that the wreckers were relatively quiet as they worked. My dad was a diesel-powered crane operator so I expected big machines to be noisy.

Author:  Brian Manning [ Tue Aug 01, 2017 1:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Remaining wreckers

Last week was the day we got to finalize the work on getting the 100 ton Bucyrus operational on steam. I filled the new boiler and bunker with water, then warmed it up slowly to 125 psi. There were a few minor leaks, but both injectors worked first start flawlessly. Took it up to popping pressure of 160psi, then after confirming that the safety valves work, then we fired up the rebuilt dyno to check out the re-wired lighting system. All the ceramic fixtures were restored, along with the knife switch's and all worked as expected along with the headlight and rear spotlight. Next was the 2 steam engines, that I had worked on over the last couple of winters. Over a 3 day period we fired up the crane each morning and worked on getting the gremlins out of it. There is some adjustments needed on packing's and a couple of the control levers, but the boom main hook and lite hook all work as designed, the house swings and will be a great piece to add to the already impressive roster for the Heritage Park Railway.

Brian Manning
Chief Engineer
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

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Author:  John T [ Tue Aug 01, 2017 8:52 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Remaining wreckers

Congratulations Brian! You guys have done a great job returning you Bucyrus wrecker to steam.

Author:  Atkinson_Railroad [ Tue Aug 01, 2017 8:57 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Remaining wreckers

Beautiful restoration! The tongue-and-groove housing is something I've not seen before on such a robust machine like a railroad wrecking crane.

Was the wood housing an original fabrication practice used by Bucyrus Erie?


Author:  Brian Manning [ Wed Aug 02, 2017 12:48 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Remaining wreckers

Thanks John. Yes the wood siding on it is a mirror of what we removed. The house was almost all rot after sitting outside on a siding for over 40 years, so it was removed and anything we could preserve we did and the rest was fabricated. The old siding was used as a pattern and new clear fir siding was milled for replacement. Maybe because the crane was used between Field, BC, through to Lethbridge and in the Crowsnest Pass area it needed more protection for the operators and engines from the elements. The 2 front doors are the only original pieces visible from the crane, everything else was fabricated from the original.


Author:  Jim Baker [ Wed Aug 02, 2017 11:08 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Remaining wreckers

As of about 10 years ago when I was last there, Nevada Northern RR Museum had an operational 100 Ton wrecker. Built 1907 by Industrial Works, original to that railroad, I believe. I know it was operational, because I got to operate it a bit. Kind of scary;definitely pre-OSHA. I know I have some photos, but can't find them at the moment

Author:  John T [ Fri Sep 08, 2017 1:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Remaining wreckers

Here are two more remaining wreckers:

115474 10-30-56 250t DEW
Los Angeles & Salt Lake #010006
Union Pacific RR #910006 1959
(still in use 03-16)

Industrial Brownhoist
11274 250t W 1941
Boston & Maine RR #3336 (to diesel)
Gilford Rail #3366 1983
Pan Am Rys #3366 2006 (in use 2014)

Author:  Brian Manning [ Mon Sep 25, 2017 9:17 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Remaining wreckers

Well, after 9 years of working on the crane, this weekend was the day to fire up for the public at Heritage Parks annual Railway Days. This year's theme was "Full Steam Ahead" and was a celebration of not only Canada's 150th birthday, but a way to bring to life all our artifacts to educate the public on the very importance of the railway in the formation of our country. This year we brought out everything we have that runs on rails or steam including a 1916-65hp Case tractor, a 1912 Waterous steam roller (only one operational in Canada) a 25hp Oilwell Supply stationary engine, double heading with the 2 steam locomotives , the only place to see this in Canada, and the 100 ton Bucyrus crane - the only operational steam railway crane in Canada. It worked flawlessly for the 2 day event, and before we put it to sleep for the winter, we are going to put it to work for a few move lifts.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9cbPhMg ... No&index=5

Brian Manning
Chief Engineer
Heritage Park Historical Village

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