Pillar crane drawings/photos?

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Pillar crane drawings/photos?

Postby RDGAndrew » Thu Oct 29, 2009 9:34 pm

Anyone have a good drawing or photo of Reading's hand-cranked pillar cranes they could share? I don't have a copy of ARHS's MOW plan book and don't know if the cranes are in there. There is a crane still standing in Quakertown, but it appears to be slightly different from the standard Rdg design, which can be seen in some photos of the Tamaqua freight house. The Q'town one has a tapered, one-piece pillar. The kind at Tamaqua and elsewhere (such as Newtown, which I'm modeling) has a pillar made of what looks like bundled coffee stir straws. I haven't seen any pictures that show the arrangement of the wheels and gears inside/next to the base of the boom. Any info greatly appreciated!
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Re: Pillar crane drawings/photos?

Postby glennk419 » Mon Nov 02, 2009 11:57 am

A picture showing the crane at Hamburg can be found here:

http://www.thebluecomet.com/rdgHamburg2.jpg

It's not exactly a close-up but it is clear and gives a pretty good profile of the crane. You may want to dig around the Blue Comet site to see if there's any other views.
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Re: Pillar crane drawings/photos?

Postby glennk419 » Mon Dec 13, 2010 5:23 pm

RDGAndrew, resurrecting an old post....

Since your original request was to aid in modeling one of these cranes, just wanted to share that I found and purchased a couple in HO scale here: http://cgi.ebay.com/HO-HOn3-WISEMAN-DETAIL-PARTS-SMALL-PILLAR-CRANE-KIT_W0QQitemZ400097076531QQcategoryZ11644QQcmdZViewItemQQ_trksidZp4340.m8QQ_trkparmsZalgo%3DMW%26its%3DC%26itu%3DUCC%26otn%3D5%26ps%3D63%26clkid%3D5141310617441847864

I'm not sure what prototype was used but they are a fairly good representation of the cranes used on the Reading and fit in perfectly with my 60's era layout.

I know this may be crossing into the modeling area but posted here in case the original poster was interested.
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Re: Pillar crane drawings/photos?

Postby limejuice » Sat Dec 18, 2010 7:55 pm

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Re: Pillar crane drawings/photos?

Postby rdg1187prr » Fri Jan 21, 2011 9:55 am

There is one located at Boyertown. I have 4 photo's online in my album Colebrookedale RR.


http://i1001.photobucket.com/albums/af1 ... GP0270.jpg

http://i1001.photobucket.com/albums/af1 ... GP0269.jpg

http://i1001.photobucket.com/albums/af1 ... GP0268.jpg

http://i1001.photobucket.com/albums/af1 ... kcrane.gif

I hope this is the style of crane you are looking for.
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Re: Pillar crane drawings/photos?

Postby RDGAndrew » Thu Sep 29, 2011 8:30 pm

John, thank you so much for posting these! You are the man!! Ironically, I forgot about my original post and was trolling Google images for "Brownhoist crane", "Brownhoist drawings," and finally "pillar crane drawings" - which brought me back to this thread. These are awesome. This is an exact match for the style of crane that was in Newtown. I just ordered some of Micro-Mark's rivet-embossed decal paper and it looks like I'm going to put it to good use. Thanks to everyone who replied!
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Re: Pillar crane drawings/photos?

Postby U.V.#200 GE70 Tonner » Sun Oct 02, 2011 7:42 am

How many pounds were these hoists rated for?
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Re: Pillar crane drawings/photos?

Postby Tom Jacobs » Thu Oct 06, 2011 2:01 pm

The Reading Co. 1954 Freight Shippers' Guide lists the capacity of the pillar cranes at Boyertown as 20,000 pounds (10T).

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Re: Pillar crane drawings/photos?

Postby U.V.#200 GE70 Tonner » Sun Oct 09, 2011 7:14 pm

Thanks for the info.
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Re: Pillar crane drawings/photos?

Postby RDGAndrew » Mon Oct 10, 2011 11:58 am

Were these cranes made by Brownhoist, or were they a homegrown Reading design?
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Re: Pillar crane drawings/photos?

Postby Tadman » Fri Nov 18, 2011 7:30 pm

I have a 1904 Brownhoist catalog, let me know if you need more material and I'll see if there's anything in it.
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Re: Pillar crane drawings/photos?

Postby MrBill » Sun Nov 20, 2011 11:33 am

A friend is planning to model Hamburg station, and I remembered this thread because of the crane pics. I recall a Reading Eagle article a few years back about the Boyertown crane. They were talking about moving it since the railyard had been torn up. The article did state that it was a unique Reading Co. design made out of a circle of iron poles, thus the coffee straw analogy is right on. I went through Boyertown often years ago and I'm sure I took some pics. They'll be hard to find, but if I do I'll post them.
I just hope they paint the thing, put a fence around it and leave it be.
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Re: Pillar crane drawings/photos?

Postby RDGAndrew » Sun Dec 11, 2011 10:04 pm

Thanks all - so a few weeks ago I trekked out to Boyertown myself and took photos.

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/G ... directlink
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/1 ... directlink
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/r ... directlink
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/y ... directlink
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/G ... directlink
https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/e ... directlink

From the detail on the column that's visible if you zoom in on the first shot, it looks like the builder was the Phoenix Iron Works, which makes sense.
Now I took these photos as a modeling aid, and I can build a model based off them, but it's bugging me that the arrangement of the gears and in particular the one ratchet wheel doesn't seem to make sense. The hand cranks are geared to the smaller gear and the larger gear, but the small gear is also geared to the larger one via the small gear seen in the second shot, and it seems as though they would lock up. Can anyone explain what I'm missing? Turning the crank clockwise would spin the two larger gears and the cable drum counterclockwise, which would raise the hook. But in the second shot, the ratchet looks like it goes the wrong way, and the secondary gear opposite the one with the ratchet can't also turn counterclockwise if the large one is going that direction too.

BTW, glad I got these pics, because when I was there on Sunday 11/20, all the extra tracks had been pulled up and you can see the ties being loaded into the Northern Pacific chip hopper if you view the rest of my album. Who knows how long the crane will stay.
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Re: Pillar crane drawings/photos?

Postby GCarp » Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:46 pm

Were both gears on the shaft with the hand crank engaged at the same time? Or is it possible they were spaced far enough apart to only engage one at a time by sliding the shaft back and forth? Can't really tell by the pictures.
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Re: Pillar crane drawings/photos?

Postby jrevans » Wed Dec 21, 2011 10:54 am

RDGAndrew wrote:Thanks all - so a few weeks ago I trekked out to Boyertown myself and took photos.

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/G ... directlink

BTW, glad I got these pics, because when I was there on Sunday 11/20, all the extra tracks had been pulled up and you can see the ties being loaded into the Northern Pacific chip hopper if you view the rest of my album. Who knows how long the crane will stay.


Thanks for the pictures Andrew. I believe that the rails were pulled up in the yard a while ago, when the County repurchased the line. The new operator said that they would build a new yard in a different location if freight traffic materializes.

There's a detailed thread around here (or over on railfan dot net) about the Colebrookdale Branch / Barto Branch which I try to keep updated with news.

I only live about ten minutes from Boyertown, but haven't been down there to check out operations in months....
JimE
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