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Steam & Excursion > Steam hook spinning

Date: 03/09/23 21:40
Steam hook spinning
Author: SD45X

Nevada Northern demonstration.

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Date: 03/10/23 07:40
Re: Steam hook spinning
Author: wabash2800

Wow, that's pretty cool how it can turn 180 degrees. Of course, that's what a wrecking crane might have to do on a wreck scene.

Victor Baird

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/10/23 07:48 by wabash2800.

Date: 03/10/23 08:45
Re: Steam hook spinning
Author: Frisco1522

That's a sound I haven't heard for decades.  Watched a couple of wrecks get cleaned up by steam cranes way back in the 50s-60s.
Those guys were artists.

Date: 03/10/23 09:20
Re: Steam hook spinning
Author: BAB

Frisco1522 Wrote:
> That's a sound I haven't heard for decades. 
> Watched a couple of wrecks get cleaned up by steam
> cranes way back in the 50s-60s.
> Those guys were artists.
Go to the NN web site as they also have a very antique overhead crane in the engine shop too.In that video it show that the origanl controls are still in it and working. Was there last year and watched them drop the first driver out of the engine they are now overhauling. And yes the steam hook will spin 360 there is a video of it working on there web site too.

Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 03/10/23 09:21 by BAB.

Date: 03/10/23 12:14
Re: Steam hook spinning
Author: PHall

wabash2800 Wrote:
> Wow, that's pretty cool how it can turn 180
> degrees. Of course, that's what a wrecking crane
> might have to do on a wreck scene.
> Victor Baird

It can turn 360 degrees as many times as you want to.

Date: 03/10/23 17:05
Re: Steam hook spinning
Author: ironmtn

It was fascinating and more than very interesting to watch that crane work during the Winter Photo Shoot I attended at the Nevada Northern a month ago. That two relatively small steam cylinders and pistons could do so much work through all of their gear connections was just amazing. Not to mention the lifting work as well. I had never seen one work before, and seeing it there was a memorable experience to be sure.

Thanks for this terrific video. This will be a keeper for me, and a reminder of the fascination of a marvelous machine. A reminder once again of the power that steam can have....

A previously posted image from that weekend, but considering the topic, perhaps worth another view.


Date: 03/11/23 07:30
Re: Steam hook spinning
Author: wcamp1472

That is a relatively small ( low capacity) Derrick.

It’s great advantage in wreck service is the very attribute you see demonstrated here:
no need to extend and build the blocking for extended outriggers.
( each corner + Large outriggers in the center).

On the larger, 250-ton capacity machines, the long  end of the cab far outweighs the boom
and empty hooks.

Thus, attempting a 360-degree spin means wooden blocking under the extended
(small) outriggers at each corner + you have to extend and build blocking for the two center.
main, outriggers ….  After building the blocking,you gotta' test the ground under the wood blocks--
you gently swing the heavy-end out over the side and see how far down that weight presses the stacked
cribbing.   If the ground is soft, you swing back to 'straight' and add more blocks to the depressed cribs.
Then,  try again ..

Failure to properly block and secure all the outriggers means that when attempting
any move that has the cab-end out beyond main frame, the result will seriously tilt
the whole rig—— the wheels on the “light side” will lift & their flanges will be clear of the rails
and the ‘heavy side’ will slip off the rails (tapered wheel treads) .  The inner wheels fall in between
the gauge of the track --- and the outer wheels will be off the ends of the ties...

The resulting derailment puts the entire derrick “on the ground”——
commonly called: “turning the derrick over”.
It doesn’t mean actually ‘Over’; but, it’s as helpless as a turtle on his back !

AND! you’ve got the main recovery tool derailed — that you need to clear
the original wrecked cars…

To have a derailed derrick at the wreck site was a terrible calamity.
It interrupted the whole recovery.   Most of the time the only way to 
get back into operation ---- focusing on the derailed cars , is to bring in two additional derricks.

That resulted in the immediate 'firing'  of the site’s wreckmaster.
The wreckmaster was typically the division Master Mechanic.
He was out of a job! Most of the time he reverted back to whatever
seniority he held in his craft.

 ( When I hired-on at Little Rock, AR, I had two former master mechanics and a former
   general foremen under me, all were fired as a result mishandling at wreck sites.  
   They were a great help  to me, with advice & executing all my duties at Little Rock.).

The first priority, in clearing the wreck is to get a track cleared and reconstructed
enough to allow waiting trains to get through.

The wreck must be cleared enough to get the waiting traffic moving.
Every minute that ticks-by, adds other trains, from all directions--- all waiting for
their chance to get moving.  Getting a "hole through" quickly,  is critical.

Train delay costs of the waiting trains soon mount into the millions of dollars….
And a derailed derrick is totally helpless!

The ability of the smaller sized derricks to spin around without the need to extend outriggers
and build the blocking makes the smaller derrick more nimble, and quicker to get ‘a hole through’ a wreck site.

YES!  Before making a 'lift' the blocking must be built and tamped, and the outriggers 
must be extended.... but, when maneuvering with no load on the hooks, is much easier
with the smaller derricks.

I was fortunate enough to have been assigned to the D&H ‘Hudson’ yard
at Wilkes Barre, Pa. for about a year—they had a wrecking crew and a
120-ton ( small) capacity derrick, and complete ‘wreck train’.
The derrick had been converted to a Cat diesel engine, no boiler or cylinders.

That crew was very adept at quickly clearing derailment sites and quickly
getting a ‘hole-through’. The wreckmaster and team together were amazing
to watch and learn from.. and no, we never derailed the ‘wrecker’.

I saw many “impossible” rerail tasks completed and cleared by that amazing
crew of about 8 guys and the master mechanic.

The memories come flooding back of their amazing feats—-
and not a single injury, bruise, or broken bones.


( When I hired onto the Rock in'77, the Southern Division, ---  I was interviewed 
   by the Suprtintendent.  His first question was what did I know about clearing 
detailments.  I said that the first priority, after Safety, was "getting a hole through"..
it was a short interview, and we were soon moving to Little Rock, AR

We had lots of small derailments; the bigger ones were cleared by Hulcher's
side-boom Cats & crews. It can be very dangerous work; luckily,
we had no personal injuries at the wreck sites we cleared.  
We worked in all conditions : sub-freezing to blistering summer heat,  
The gray clouds over the Arkansas rice fields --- thousands of square miles-
- were the mosquitos -- they swarmed-up about 3 o'clock in tte afternoon.  
EVERYBODY worked as fast as possible to get the hell out of there before the swarms)

Posted from iPhone

Edited 7 time(s). Last edit at 03/11/23 20:58 by wcamp1472.

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