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Richard EH

Oxford Rail Cowans Sheldon Crane

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I think the GNRI had one, very similar but built a few years after the Oxford version with a solid Jib and a rudimentary cab. Preserved by RPSI at Whitehead.

 

Ernie

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That crane is not the one in question. That one is LMSNCC number 3076, which incidently is almost a dead ringer for the old Triang Hornby model.

The GNR crane at Whitehead is the following, which is a close match for the Oxford model. 

https://hiveminer.com/Tags/gnri%2Cwhitehead

25603750838_6db06c6042_b.jpg

Edited by Dhu Varren
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Sorry - mea culpa!  The steam crane was a daily sight on my school commute to York Road in the 80s so I should have remembered.....

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11 minutes ago, Noel said:

Impressive, is it still in service? How do they stabilise it laterally?

 

I had one of these as a kid http://www.hornbyguide.com/item_year_details.asp?itemyearid=2769

 

Fifth photo next to bogie is a screw jack - this on a sliding I - beam - its opposite site friend just to left of it - pulled out and sat on packings, jack to take load,  to spread load and watched like a hawk by crew.   

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While we are on the subject of cranes.

2m   Athlone Breakdown Crane stored at Tuam

167926576_MGWRCrane24012020.jpg.dd4b97249fe8115c6cf741ff58527bc1.jpg

1914990079_MGWRCrane24012020_0001.thumb.jpg.4248da99c9f3193153cb3c04d02a2dbc.jpg

The Athlone crane was likely to have been bought in a sale of War surplus equipment along with wagons and coach underframes after the Great War

The CIE 0-6-4 cranes are ex-BR cranes re-gauged in Inchacore during the 1970s, the GSWR may have had cranes similar to the Oxford model or the GNR crane.

The railway steam cranes had outriggers similar to today's mobile cranes,

I think the Irish Rail steam crance have been de-commissioned hiring in mobile cranes when required.

 

Edited by Mayner
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Slightly off topic, Bachman's Ransomes & Rapier 45 ton crane

Weighs in at £250 stg!

 

41fnAJuazSL.jpg.a33e902d8bad52658a8e25d8a9224982.jpg

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A new arrival at Tara junction during the week-a serious piece of model engineering....

Crew familiarisation is currently taking place...

 

IMG_E3873.JPG

IMG_E3877.JPG

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Where did the steam crane that was in Mallow eventually go?

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The GSWR had similar cranes, as far as I recall one being in Cork and one in Inchicore. The WLWR had theirs at Limerick and of course the Midland had one at Broadstone. All were fairly standard Cowans Sheldon products as far as I am aware. As Mayner says, two ex-British Rail ones of 1960s origin were bought by CIE in the 1980s - I saw one in steam at the 1996 Inchicore open day, which I am almost certain is the last time one was steamed. I believe one was by then already withdrawn and the other was not long afterwards.

For the modeller, the two BR ones were yellow. Previously, the GSWR one(s) would be black, with grey in GSR and CIE times. The DSER's Grand Canal St one, the Midland one and the GNR one - all grey. No black bits, no dayglow jackets, no yellow stripes or hard hats!

NIR painted the NCC one maroon in the 1970s - it's at Downpatrick now. The UTA painted the GNR one (now at Whitehead) red, though it had been grey most of its life. CIE's were all always grey, until they got the two Brexit ones, which were yellow.

In answer to another question, none are in use; the 1996 outing for display purposes at Inchicore was the last as far as I am aware. 

Any photos of any steam cranes after about 1950 show them with a very heavy amount of rust-wash weathering necessary!

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Look at this amazing DCC operating crane. Forgive the language and accent from the mainland. €690 and comes with its own remote control handset.

 

Edited by Noel

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I think this O' Dea photo (NLI on Flickr) is probably both GSWR cranes rebuilding the bridge in Cabra on the loop line (1930s). If recollection serves, it was the GSWR that build the line to link with the MGWR line and access the Irish sea or how many other cranes the GSR inherited from the MGWR, DSER etc. at grouping but both crane jibs appear identical. There is a suggestion that the Cowan Sheldon cranes date for the 1920s. Would the GSWR have acquired them that late just before the GSR amalgamation? I'll dig out the one from Mallow when I get a chance later and post a link later.

Building Bridges

EDIT:

The steam crane at Mallow, looks to be the same crane to me

Cowans Sheldon steam crane 1920

Cowans Sheldon steam crane 1920

Cowan Sheldon 1920. I believe that Westrail had it in Tuam for a while before it ended up in Mallow. I hope it is still in Mallow and Irish railway heritage hasn't gone to Hammond Lane for a song again?

EDIT: there seems to be evidence of it still in existence in 2016/7-ish

Edited by DiveController
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So best info I have is that the GSWR ones were Carlisle built c. 1920 as 35T cranes and that one at Mallow was held at Mallow on its way from Cork to Buttevant to assist in the rail disaster of the August Bank Holiday weekend in 1980. Decaying in the yard for years it was placed on a plinth when the yard was converted to a car park and is still extant I believe

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Murray & McNeill's book on the GSWR lists 4 breakdown crane and 3 traveling cranes in June 1924 just before the first amalgamation of the major railways in the winter of that year but no more definite details

For the Cork based GSWR 35T steam crane it can be seen here in 1987 with the additional match truck that didn't support the jib but allowed the correct spacing of the wagons (also a 1449 series laminate awaiting its fate in the yard behind)

Ireland Crane GSRPS Mallow

  

Edited by DiveController
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The crane at Mallow was brought from Limerick to Mallow by the GSRPS in 1986 and saw a lot of use dismantling track panels in the Mallow Beet Factory sidings in 1989.

Quite why it was 'preserved' in the station car park is beyond me and what happened to the missing match truck shown above? Anyway, the last time I passed it - about 2007 it was returning to earth. RIP.

Here's a picture of it working in the beet sidings - sorry for size and quality.

 

CRANE1.jpg

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The Mallow crane appears to be ex-GSWR from the Great Southern Railway Preservation site in Mallow, the Tuam crane 2m was ex-MGWR last used as the Athlone breakdown crane

Both the GSWR & MGWR cranes appear to be the same type and may be "War Surplus" and may have been snapped up as a bargain by the Irish Railways or possibly in lieu of cash as part of the Governments Settlement with the Irish Railway companies.

Although the Mallow crane builders date is 1920 it may have been ordered by the Government before the ending of hostilities or like the Woolwich Moguls to maintain employment as industry wound down from a war footing  at the end of the war.

The wagons that ran with the cranes were known as match trucks both on standard Irish wagon underframes, interestingly the match trucks used with the ex-GSWR crane have the older style of wooden underframe with a hand brake on one side while those with the Midland crane have the more modern steel framed underframes most likely with a handbrake on each side.

The Ratio 574 P.W. wagons set included a very nice pair of rail wagons and a pair of ballast wagons all wooden underframed which were very close in appearance to the GSWR wagons including single the option of assembly with Irish style single lever brake gear  https://www.ebay.co.uk/p/1641654330?iid=112030705153

Interesting to see how much was achieved by GSRPS volunteers in establishing the restoration site at Mallow, restoring rolling stock and an attempt to re-open the Fenit Branch so near but so far.

DERAILED. Hopefully some day you will publish a book about your experiences in Irish railway preservation.

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Actually I had forgotten about this old photo of the crane at Cork yard suddenly without its boiler in 1960 but at least it has it middle match truck No. 99 in place. CIE grey I'd say

Cork Glanmire Road shed. Exploded steam crane. 29.7.60

 

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Cowans Sheldon must have been a large supplier of cranes indeed. I noticed this larger 50T crane (1948) that was used on the Swedish railways which is not too dissimilar to the 30T CIE crane posted by Wrenneire above

Cowans Sheldon breakdown crane, Nassjo, Sweden, Sat 6 September 2014 1.  Here are five photos of this fifty ton crane built for SJ by Cowans Sheldon (8934 / 1948).  Latterly based at Ange, in central Sweden, it is now owned by the Gavle railway museum.  Here is the crane carriage resting on its jacks.  The two relieving bogies are absent but the match wagon is present.

 

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10 hours ago, DiveController said:

Cowans Sheldon must have been a large supplier of cranes indeed.

The firm was founded in 1846 with a works at Woodbank (about 2 miles south of Carlisle near Upperby) by John Cowans (1816-1873), Edward Pattison Sheldon (1815-1881) and brothers William and Thomas Bouch. The site was adjacent to the River Petteril which powered a tilt-hammer. The earliest known order was for the Shildon Engine Works. Early products included wagon wheels and axles for various railways, as well as items for mine and port work. The firm began exporting in 1852 when forgings went to Bremen for a shipbuilder.

In 1857 the company purchased a Carlisle site formerly occupied by G.D.Richardson, Iron Founder and Timber Merchant.

Adjacent to the Newcastle-Carlisle Railway, the new St Nicholas Engine & Iron Works were named for the leper hospital located there during the middle ages. The works were managed by George Dove (1817-1906), who became a partner in 1863. In 1870

John Cowans retired due to ill-health. He died aged only 57 in 1873. That year the company became a limited liability company, and John Horne became Works manager. Horne later became a director, and did not retire until 1913. Edward Sheldon who had been blinded in an accident was the last of the partners when he died in 1881. (Thomas Bouch had been knighted in 1879 but died soon after in disgrace following the collapse of the Tay bridge). George Dove became the Managing Director, assisted by his son John, who became joint Managing Director in 1889. John Dove passed away in 1922.

Under these managers the company became Britain's best known crane maker. The earliest known rail crane order was a 2.5-ton travelling hand crane for the Oldham Corporation in July1859. The company was the pioneer in steam rail cranes by the mid 1860s. Boilers were applied to hand cranes leading to cranes of 5 to 10 ton capacity for the Great Indian Peninsular Railway in 1865. By the 1880s 15 ton breakdown cranes were being produced, and the first 20 ton breakdown crane was for the London &York Railway in 1902. Capacity increased swiftly with 25 to 30-ton rail cranes by 1906 and 35-ton cranes by 1911.

The post WWI period saw 50 ton cranes in Britain, 75-ton cranes for India, and in 1924 two 120-ton steam breakdown rail cranes for the South Australia Railway. Other power sources were explored with electric rail cranes being produced by 1909, and later diesel power. In 1960-61 150 and 250-ton capacity diesel cranes were exported to Canada. Much smaller 10 and 15-ton diesel cranes arrived in New Zealand in the 1962-64 period.

Cowans Sheldon also produced overhead cranes, starting with 20-ton hand cranes for the Inverness & Aberdeen Junction Railway in 1863 before moving to steam power, and then electric overhead cranes by the end of the 19th century. The company is also well known for dockside cranes - such as the 130-ton capacity steam jib crane built in 1891 at Finnieston Quay in Glasgow. Other maritime products included steam sheers, including the 100-ton examples for the Admiralty at Portsmouth.

At the other end of the scale were coaling cranes and 'Fairburn type' whip cranes. Other products included boilers, steam engines, rolling stock, permanent way materials, turntables (Cowans Sheldon invented the loco brake system vacuum operating mechanism), water vats and cranes, creosoting plants, tobacco presses, and equipment for coal, gas, and iron production.

In the post-WWII period, like most companies involved in crane and particularly rail crane production, Cowans Sheldon faced a downturn. However, by the 1960's they were the last remaining producer of large rail cranes in Britain. In 1962 the company became associated with another well established firm Clyde, Crane & Booth (whose heritage dated back to the 1820s), who then discontinued producing 'Booth' type rail cranes. In 1968 the company was taken over by Clarke Chapman (which itself dates back to the 1860s). The acquisition of other well known manufacturers Sir William Arrol & Co and Wellman Cranes the following year saw them combined as the Clarke Chapman Crane & Bridge Division. Clarke Chapman joined with Reyrolle Parsons (a product of the 1968 merger of C.A.Parsons and Reyrolle) to create Northern Engineering Industries (NEI) in 1977. It was soon after this that NZR acquired its last rail cranes, two 60-tonners built by 'NEI-Clarke Chapman' but bearing the name Cowans Sheldon. In 1989 the company was acquired by Rolls Royce as its Materials Handling group. During this management the Carlisle Works were finally closed. In 2001 present owners Langley Holdings acquired the Clarke Chapman Group, and Cowans Sheldon continues to operate with a focus on rail cranes, alongside the other companies in the Group - RB (Ruston Bucyrus), Stothert & Pitt, and Wellman Booth - all famous crane making names.

 

I copied and pasted that, as it was in pale orange on white - here -->  https://thecranies.webs.com/history.htm

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interesting!

So, the following locations for them, one each:

NCC - York Road

WLWR - Limerick (to GSWR)

GSWR - Inchicore 

GSWR - Cork

MGWR - Broadstone 

DWWR/DSER - Grand Canal St

GNR - Dundalk  (I wonder if the GNR has had more earlier due to pre-1876 amalgamations?)

None on narrow gauge, but I wonder about West Cork. There was some sort of a thing  at Albert Quay but I’m not sure if it was steam.

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Cowans Sheldon Carlisle in the 1960's. The railway is the Carlisle to Newcastle line also used by the Settle & Carlisle services. Sadly as regards the Works, all that's left today is that low stone wall in the foreground, the site is now a retail park - Asda Halfords etc.

Ernie

London Rd Junction inc Cowans Sheldon s488.jpg

Edited by Irishswissernie
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4 hours ago, jhb171achill said:

interesting!

So, the following locations for them, one each:

NCC - York Road

WLWR - Limerick (to GSWR)

GSWR - Inchicore 

GSWR - Cork

MGWR - Broadstone 

DWWR/DSER - Grand Canal St

GNR - Dundalk  (I wonder if the GNR has had more earlier due to pre-1876 amalgamations?)

None on narrow gauge, but I wonder about West Cork. There was some sort of a thing  at Albert Quay but I’m not sure if it was steam.

The GSR list of "locomotive travelling steam and hand cranes."

Athlone. 20T steam crane.

Cork Glanmire. 7T 18cwts hand crane and *10T steam crane.

Cork Albert Qy.  *  **15T steam crane (not self travelling)

Dublin Broadstone. 20T steam crane.

Dublin Inchicore. 20T steam crane.

Limerick. 20T steam crane and 20T hand crane.

Thurles. 10T hand crane.

Waterford. 15T steam crane.

* Not to run on Macroom section nor between Ballinascarthy and Courtmacsherry.

** For use on CB&SC Section.

Edited by minister_for_hardship
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8 hours ago, jhb171achill said:

interesting!

So, the following locations for them, one each:

NCC - York Road

WLWR - Limerick (to GSWR)

GSWR - Inchicore 

GSWR - Cork

MGWR - Broadstone 

DWWR/DSER - Grand Canal St

GNR - Dundalk  (I wonder if the GNR has had more earlier due to pre-1876 amalgamations?)

None on narrow gauge, but I wonder about West Cork. There was some sort of a thing  at Albert Quay but I’m not sure if it was steam.

The Cavan & Leitrim had a hand operated Cowans & Sheldon "accident crane" with a wooden jib. Apparently although a travelling crane it seldom left its resting place in Ballinamore & was used soley for re-tyreing loco wheels.

A lot of re-railing work on both the narrow and broad gauge would have been done by jacking & packing with sleepers and screw jacks.

Smaller companies like the SLNCR and Cork Bandon & South Coast carried re-railing jacks on the locos.

In Great Britain many of the "Colonel Stephens" lines had hand operated War Surplus brake down cranes which were seldom used. The pair of breakdown cranes supplied to the Festiniog narrow gauge were notorious as they were too big to fit through the bridges and tunnels on the line. 

Edited by Mayner
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Assume this is the C&L crane, all derelict at Dromod I think... not that you can see much of it !

IMG_20200204_221103_535.JPG

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On 2/5/2020 at 11:13 AM, PorkyP said:

Assume this is the C&L crane, all derelict at Dromod I think... not that you can see much of it !

IMG_20200204_221103_535.JPG

The C&L breakdown crane was "removed" in 1944 (Cavan & Leitrim Railway PJ Flannigan Pan paperback edition)

The crane behind 2L looks like a good yard hand crane.

Fantastic Ulster Folk & Transport restoration of Kathleen & Coach No 5 https://www.nmni.com/collections/highlight-tours/all-aboard

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It is indeed the goods yard crane.

My earlier remarks, btw, referred to steam cranes. The CDR, LLSR, T & D, C & L, and most main line companies had “hand cranes” as well, dotted all over the place.

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