• Freight Derrick Crane

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New England
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New England

Moderators: MEC407, NHN503

  by crij
Hello all,

I am looking for information about a hand cranked Freight Derrick Crane, that the Ct Eastern RR Museum in Willimantic, just received permission to move to the museum. Permission is from resident RR Co and CDoT Rail. I can not disclose the location at this time.

It is a former NYNH&H crane, may be an industry standard version. I am trying to get a blueprint of it, so when we go to move it, there will be as few surprises as possible, as it is disassembled for transportation to the museum.

Unfortunately the builder's plate and hook have been removed, and I have yet to find any builder's marks, so here are the stats, to narrow the search down.

The lower 16 inches is still buried in the dirt, I only uncovered enough to get the dimensions below, exploration trough was 2 shovels wide. Too much stone, cinders and other c**p to dig out completely.

--Stone base is 10' (feet) across, square, and is over 12" (inches) thick, it is made from a white or grey granite stone.
--Base cone is 10' in diameter and 6" tall.
--Next piece is bolted to base cone, or though to granite, with 8 bolts, this cone is 8' diameter, 6" tall
--Main cone, with boom mount is 24" across, 11.5'-12' tall, tapers to 12" diameter before flaring to 24" below saddle.
--Top saddle is 36" long, 12" tall, 6" thick, it receives 2 vertical bolts from the bottom of the main cone and 2 horizontal bolts from the boom tip.
--Boom is 25' long, with 3 pulleys and cable end connection loop
--Center of crane to center of tracks is 17'
--Approximate ratio at first crank is 12:1 to main drum, and high force crank is 70:1 to main drum (cable spool)
--Using gear sizes and assuming a 2' long crank, for high force crank, and a 80 pound cranking force, crane is 10-12 tons.
--Wooden brake shoe acts upon the inside of the main crank gear.
--High Force crank could be, or was mounted on either side of crane, possibly even with 2 cranks 180 degrees apart for 2 men? Shaft has square ends and threads for retaining nuts at both ends.

For clarification: `contacts' will refer to gear tooth to gear tooth interlacing, and `turns' will refer to 2 items being mounted on the same shaft.

Here are the gear sizes for the verification of my rough weight rating calculation.

--I am assuming (1) 80# (pound) force on a 24" crank arm, turning the 4" r (radius) gear.
4" r gear contacts 12" r primary crank gear
12" r primary crank gear turns 4" r gear
4" r gear contacts 24" r drum gear
24"r drum gear turns 9" r cable drum
((80*24/4*12/4*24/9) based on using moment arms for calculations)
total force on cable leaving drum, 3840#.

Crane boom tip has 3 loops of cable going to hook, load is carried by 6 lines, total lift is 23,000#, 11.5 short tons (2,000 lbs/ton) or 10.5 long tons (2,204 lbs/ton). If it turns out to be a 2 man crane then the load rating could be as high as 20 long tons.

If by this description, anyone thinks they know where this crane is located, PLEASE DO NOT MENTION THIS ON THE LIST, the RR Co and CDoT have been gracious enough to let us preserve this item, and I would not want to risk irritating them by having numerous people climbing around this area, until the day of removal. Beside, since it is located on state land, it would be considered trespassing.

Thank you for your help and cooperation,

Rich Cizik
MoW Foreman
Ct Eastern RR Museum
Willimantic, Ct

P.S. If you have the drawing of a Derrick Crane, that is close to this one by description, you can contact me off list.
  by wolfmom69
I think you are correct about this being an "industry standard type",the way you describe it. I can remember 2 on the B&M here in S.Maine. One was on the Eastern in Biddeford by the crossing/former station location,and was still there 20 years ago(not now). The other was on Commercial St. near the foot of High St,long scrapped,but I can recall "playing on it" in the 1950s and it was frozen up with rust and long out of service. Maybe someone with B&M and/or Maine connections has some plans,photos,or info. Good Luck! Bud