• Crane Tenders - Industrial Brownhoist 250T Derricks

  • Discussion relating to the NYC and subsidiaries, up to 1968. Visit the NYCS Historical Society for more information.
Discussion relating to the NYC and subsidiaries, up to 1968. Visit the NYCS Historical Society for more information.

Moderator: Otto Vondrak

  by urrengr2003
What did the NYC use for Crane Tenders on their 'Big Hooks'? We had one at SK but I don't remember about it execpt it was an old MofW gondola used to carry spreaders, blocking, a pair of spare trucks and slings. Additionally an old Baggage Car was in the consist that carried more cable, slings and welding/burning supplies. Can anyone recall any more about this and specifically the color of the cars. Is my memory correct that the wreck train coach and diner were MofW Gray? Much earlier, in the 40's, before I worked for the carrier I beleive the coach & diner were still Pullman Green.

What terminals had 250T derricks?

  by Ramcat
As I recall the 250-ton derricks were at Selkirk, Collinwood, Elkhart and Indianapolis. Today the Elkhart derrick is at the museum in Altoona. I don't know where the other three are or if they still exist.

As far as the color of the associated equipment goes some of it was grey, some original two tone grey, some Pullman green, some Century green and what ever else was available at the end.

On Penn Central when the tool cars from the PRR 250 ton derricks were put together with the NYC derricks nothing worked. The PRR derricks had different tool arrangements.

The NYC derricks had a main block, auxillary block and a whip line. The PRR derricks did not have a whip line.

As information the New Haven big hooks were 230 ton and one was still coal fired at the end.
  by ChiefTroll
During NYC days the 250-ton cranes at Selkirk and Dewitt were the X-13 and X-14. I don't remember for sure which was which, but I want to say Selkirk had the X-14.

By 1963 they were oil-fired steam cranes. I don't know if they were originally coal fired. I'm sure that I remember a steam locomotive tender in the Selkirk outfit. Being oil fired, the crane didn't have to be next to the tender, and I think they had water and oil pipes alongside the wheel car and the tool car.

The cranes were black. NYC painted all the rest of the outfit boxcar red, with company service X-numbers on them. They also had a commissary car (diner) which, like all good wrecking outfits, was amply supplied with a big jar of hot peppers in the center of the table.

  by Ramcat
A bit more information on the 250-ton derricks for those who may be interested. The four were built by Industrial Brown Hoist in 1948 and 1949. They carried NYC Lot No. 758.

The one at Collinwood was used to move the large auto body dies at Fisher Body plant at East 140th Street for model year changes.

The ratings are:

Capacity of 500,000 lbs at a boom radius of 17-1/2 feet for the main hoist

Capacity of 120,000 lbs at a boom radius of 25 feet for the auxillary hoist

Above with all outriggers blocked.

The whip line had a maximum capacity of 20 tons which was handy for retrieving trucks and other lighter items.[/u]

  by harmon44
The Harmon crane was a 150 ton and the boom car was a flat car that had a "dog house" built on to it that housed a water tank, bed, stove and storage for the hook. The last Harmon crane was donated to the NYC museum in Elkhart ,IN. That idle car was painted NYC green and stayed that color through PC days. The Selkirk 250 ton crane was converted to deisel sometime in the late 60's and it capacity was less due to this conversion. The Harmon crane was originally coal fired and was converted to oil in the 60's. However, it was fired with Kerosene most of the time.
  by ChiefTroll
On second thought, the big Selkirk hook was X-13. In 1958 they also had the X-21, 1910 Industrial Works (before they merged with Brownhoist), coal fired steam, of course. It was used on branch lines, like the Catskill Mountain Branch in February 1958.

The four NYC 250-ton cranes were X-13 through X-16. X-13 was diesel the last time I saw it, in 1971 when I was the Track Supervisor at Oneonta on the D&H. We had a southbound train derail south of Richmondville, and the D&H didn't have a crane north of Oneonta. I suggested that we should call the Penn Central wreckers from Selkirk, because it is generally easier to pick up a wreck from the rear end (pull them out the way they went in). That was true in this case, and we got the X-13 under the able command of C.C. (Burt) Pape, the General Car Foreman at Selkirk.

Our Oneonta wreckers worked the south end, but it was like pulling the cork out of a bottle the wrong way. By the way, the D&H Oneonta wreckers (under Norman Knapp) had as good a reputation on the NYC as the Selkirk guys did on the D&H. They got along fine. That was also verified to me years later by one E.D. Joslin, who was known to several of us on the list.
  by lbagg91833
Musta missed the opening on this subj...but IDLER cars were just a modified flat car. Normally the BOOM of the crane was carried/rested on same. TOOL CAR next to the crane, and separated the SLEEPER CAR from the KITCHEN CAR....flat/gons that transported the "PANEL TRACK" units followed. I think that NYCRR wreck train consists were modidied over the yrs, but faded into history when the CONTRACTORS.....HULCHER/CORMAN/WINTERS came on the scene...LAB

  by harmon44
On the Harmon wreck train the order of cars was the folowing for many years. Flat car w/wheels/spare trucks,crane,idle flat w/doghouse, diner/sleeper, 3 baggage/tool cars, flat w/wheels, finally the gons with panel tracks. The gons did not go out on all calls. The flat w/wheels was a hold over from steam days. They wanted a car between the engine and the crane for weight separation.
  by Aworrell
I am in the process of designing/building fully operational 1 1/2" scale Big Hook 200 t modeled on (Arizona & California #1 - ATSF #199794) (IB #5003). I would welcome discussion and info regarding this series of locomotive cranes. Would be looking for layout drawings, etc.

Al Worrell
  by boomerralph
Good day Al,

I am also interested in building a fully operational 259 ton Industrial Brownhoist. Would you be interested in sharing your research results?
I can be reached at [email protected]. I look forward to your reply.

Ralph M. Reese