Railway Preservation News

One Derrick “Newly” Preserved & Two “Preserved” Derricks Los
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Author:  Mr.Pullman [ Fri Nov 24, 2017 9:24 pm ]
Post subject:  One Derrick “Newly” Preserved & Two “Preserved” Derricks Los

One Derrick “Newly” Preserved & Two “Preserved” Derricks Lost…

Update your Wrecking Derrick Rosters due to recent activity in Late Oct 2017.

The Good News…

The Ex-Virginian 250ton Wrecking Derrick B-37 later VGN-40037 has been preserved by the Virginia Museum of Transportation, in Roanoke VA.

Ex-Virginian B-37 (Norfolk Southern, NS-540037)
Serial #12426 250t DW 1957
Virginian Ry #B-37 to #40037
Norfolk & Western #540037
Norfolk Southern #540037
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... x?id=64534

The Ex-Virginian B-37, Norfolk Southern 540037 Wreck Derrick, was recently “officially retired” from Norfolk Southern and was the Last Wrecking Derrick left on the system. The NS-540037 had been stored “Operable” for some years at Norfolk Southerns Shaffer’s Crossing Car Shops in Roanoke VA. The Virginia Museum of Transportation in Roanoke and preservationist alike all had had their eyes on making sure this Ex-Virginian Derrick had a chance in preservation. Very recently the Derrick was marked as surplus and made available for bid. A local Scrap Dealer ended up with the Derrick and the Virginia Museum of Transportation wanted to save it for their collection. The Museum did not have the funds to offer on the crane when it went up for bid and again the Museum didn’t have the funds to buy the Derrick from the scrap dealer so a “materials” trade was discussed. The Museum presently has a string of “preserved” equipment not displayed or stored on in its main site and stored on a track in the former Roanoke Hump Yard nearby.

Now, The Bad news…

The Museum offered the Scrap Dealer the 1948 Ex-Norfolk &Western 250ton Wreck Derrick N&W-NS-514925 that it had in its collection as an even trade for the Virginian Derrick, as it worked out the Virginian Derrick was 4000 pounds heavier than the Ex-N&W Derrick so they were not equal weight. The Museum then offered another Derrick the 1919 Norfolk & Western 160ton Wreck Derrick N&W 514902 in its collection as balance on the Virginian Derrick. In the end Two complete and just shy of being operable Norfolk & Western Wrecking Derricks are now lost, that had been “Preserved”.

While many wanted to see the Virginian Derrick saved the question has to be asked at what cost? They Don’t make 1919 N&W Derricks any more.

(NS 514925)
Serial #12003 250t DW 1948
Norfolk & Western #514925
Norfolk Southern #514925
Virginia Transportation Museum Roanoke, VA 11-23-97
(moved to museum 03-19-00)
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... id=3107719

(N&W 514902)
Serial #3931 160t W 1919
Norfolk & Western #4968 to #514902 $50,141.41
(converted to diesel 03-57)
Virginia Transportation Museum Roanoke, VA 10-83
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... id=3935297

Below are images of the Derricks shortly after their arrival in the scrap dealers yard.
Both Derricks after arrival.
Ex-N&W 514902
Ex-N&W (NS-514925)
(Builders Plate on 1919 built Ex-N&W 514902)

Below are the Derricks after the booms have been sheared off, the bodies will be rolled away for further picking and harvesting of items for reuse at a later time.

Ex-N&W 514902
Ex-N&W (NS-514925)

Author:  David Dewey [ Sat Nov 25, 2017 12:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: One Derrick “Newly” Preserved & Two “Preserved” Derricks

Lose two to gain one?? What kind of preservation is this? This was the ONLY solution they could find? They weren't even "parts piles" but intact units.
Apparently the scrap dealer had no interest in seeing if anyone else might want them, as quickly as they were cut up.
I'm sorry, this just sounds tragic and not following good museum practice, but what do I know?

Author:  Rick Rowlands [ Sat Nov 25, 2017 12:39 am ]
Post subject:  Re: One Derrick “Newly” Preserved & Two “Preserved” Derricks

To say this is infuriating is being kind.

Author:  LeoA [ Sat Nov 25, 2017 2:39 am ]
Post subject:  Re: One Derrick “Newly” Preserved & Two “Preserved” Derricks

Wait a few years until the new one gets rusty, and they decide that they want to "save" something else and start to view this as just so much scrap metal. It's a story that's all too familiar when it comes to wreck derricks in museum settings, and one I'll bet good money on happening again here now that it has already happened once.

For some reason, wreck derricks don't get the attention at most museums that they deserve. Fascinating and neat looking pieces of history, but apparently people like myself are in the minority. But on the bright side, it makes the small handful that are actually well cared for and sometimes operational, all the more special. And I can't speak for anyone else, but such organizations also are the type I'd be more included to donate to further the cause.

Tough decisions have to be made at times, even if I don't like them. But sometimes such as in this instance, it feels too much like they'e just tiring of a long neglected toy that they worked hard to acquire and then did nothing with. And now the only value in the old toy is what they can get out of it to put towards the next toy they'll work hard pursuing, only to then let go to pot. Not exactly the type of arrangement I'd be interested in donating money towards supporting.

These aren't toys to just throw away. I expect more from a museum of this caliber. For instance, why wasn't this very resource we're discussing this on, given an opportunity to at least attempt to make a more positive outcome happen? Deaccession of an important historical artifact should always include getting the word out, and let people speak with their wallets and connections if they'd prefer some alternate arrangement.

They both still might've been goners, but then again, maybe they wouldn't. Let's hope for a better fate for their latest toy at least.

Author:  John T [ Sat Nov 25, 2017 10:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: One Derrick “Newly” Preserved & Two “Preserved” Derricks

Well that just sucks! Other than being the newest IB wrecker left what is so special about #540037? They didn't even save the builder's plate from the #514902. Anybody know when these cranes were scrapped?

12438 250t DW 1960 Southern Ry #D-1 to #903013
Norfolk Southern #903013
12485 250t DW 1960 Southern Ry #D3 to #903014
Norfolk Southern #903014
12486 250t DW 1960 Southern Ry #D4 to #903026
Norfolk Southern #903026
12487 250t DW 1960 Southern Ry #D5 to #903002
Norfolk Southern #903002

Author:  Alexander D. Mitchell IV [ Sat Nov 25, 2017 11:04 am ]
Post subject:  Re: One Derrick “Newly” Preserved & Two “Preserved” Derricks

I cannot pass judgement until I have all the facts. This smells a bit, but....... I'd ask for an explanation of their rationale.

But what I DO know is that an "artifact" this unwieldy and difficult to move safely is NOT something that you just freely offer up on RyPN, TrainOrders, Railroad.net, Craigslist, etc.

I strongly suspect that this is one of those rail artifacts, like many others I've personally dealt with, where the only way and place it's moving is on its wheels only across the major rail shop/yard's town in the dead of night while corporate headquarters is asleep, and no further. If--to simply make up examples--the Age of Steam Roundhouse, Steamtown, or the Richmond RR Museum wanted one of these, the VMT could let it go for free, but NS will most likely charge several arms and legs to move it there. And I'm talking a railroad that seems friendly to preservationists--I wouldn't even want to approach CSX or interchange to yet another railroad. And these are places with their collective heads screwed on straight. Lord help us if the Podunk Station Local Railroad Museum tries to get it--it would bankrupt them swiftly. Thus, you DO NOT put up a sign saying "Free Derrick" if you care about the other groups; you make discrete enquiries at the ATRRM gathering or through their newsletter.

Further, they may be cool as cucumbers to see and watch, but there are reasons that a) the railroads don't use them any more and b) nobody demonstrates them much, either. Supposedly the last time one of these operated in my general geographical region resulted in the fatality of a "walking encyclopedia" who kept the thing running for the line, and that was also the "death" of that derrick running as well.

The last "steam thresher" show I was at, there was but one guy left experienced enough to demonstrate the old-fashioned "steam shovel" (actually diesel-powered), and he could only run it for about 45 minutes at a time before he wore out (those things take muscle and stamina to control). How long has it been since the log skidder at Cass/Whittier has been demonstrated?

Author:  airforcerail [ Sat Nov 25, 2017 12:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: One Derrick “Newly” Preserved & Two “Preserved” Derricks

Wait wait wait,
So, for a 4000lb difference, they gave up A WHOLE OTHER CRANE?!?!??! 4000lbs is about 500-600 dollars worth of scrap... really? If they had put it out there I would have given them several thousand for the smaller crane... or they could have asked for that missing bit in donations. Wow!

Hell I have 4k worth of scrap I would have donated!

What a waste!

As is often repeated here, something 'preserved' is often just 'delayed'.


Author:  LeoA [ Sat Nov 25, 2017 4:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: One Derrick “Newly” Preserved & Two “Preserved” Derricks

Alexander, we've seen several equipment rescues be facilitated thanks to this community through the years.

Someone can't do anything like donate the pittance that made up the difference in scrap weight so that at least one of these two cranes had a chance of survival, if nobody finds out about it until it's already sitting in the scrapyard with the cutting torches hard at work.

Let people know about something like this. We're in the age of the internet, they need to be taking advantage of this resource. It's only an advantage for the history entrusted to them and their mission to bring that to future generations.

Author:  John T [ Sat Nov 25, 2017 6:13 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: One Derrick “Newly” Preserved & Two “Preserved” Derricks

The is absolutly nothing about this on the museum's web site. In fact they make no mention of any of the cranes in their collection.

Author:  Nova55 [ Sat Nov 25, 2017 7:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: One Derrick “Newly” Preserved & Two “Preserved” Derricks

The only one that made out in that deal was the scrapper.

Author:  Rick Rowlands [ Sat Nov 25, 2017 8:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: One Derrick “Newly” Preserved & Two “Preserved” Derricks

So what else is in this track of extra equipment that will probably be quietly cashed in someday?

Author:  Nova55 [ Sat Nov 25, 2017 8:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: One Derrick “Newly” Preserved & Two “Preserved” Derricks

One, if not the last EMD SDP45s was back there.

Author:  kevin kohls [ Sat Nov 25, 2017 8:30 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: One Derrick “Newly” Preserved & Two “Preserved” Derricks

Enough to make one crazy ! Wreckers and Locomotive Cranes are on the very bottom of preservation lists. The only other RR item that gets this lack of respect are RR signals. Brother !

Kevin K.

Author:  nasaracer32 [ Sun Nov 26, 2017 1:23 am ]
Post subject:  Re: One Derrick “Newly” Preserved & Two “Preserved” Derricks

May be of interest to some that the 250 ton crane, 514925, was one of the cranes used to get the 611 out of the river in '56.

Author:  John T [ Sun Nov 26, 2017 10:13 am ]
Post subject:  Re: One Derrick “Newly” Preserved & Two “Preserved” Derricks

These two cranes are supposed to be in the Roanoke collection.

Industrial Works C/N 2230 120 tons Wrecker Steam 1910
Norfolk & Western #514908
Virginia Iron & Pipe Roanoke, VA 10-28-66
Virginia Scrap Iron & Metal Roanoke, VA
VMofT 01-2013

Ohio C/N 4701 25 tons Diesel 06-52
Pennsylvania RR #85382
Penn Central
Conrail #92617
Norfolk Southern 1999
VMofT (here 2014)
http://www.rrpicturearchives.net/showPi ... id=3935301

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