·  LMS  ·  GWR  ·  LNER  ·  Misc  ·  Stations  ·  What's New  ·  Video  ·  Guestbook  ·  About

GWR Route: Banbury to Wolverhampton

Knowle & Dorridge Station: gwrkd2264

The Cowans Sheldon steam crane raises steam pressure in order to start recovery operations on 15th August 1963

The Cowans Sheldon steam crane raises steam in order to commence recovery operations on 15th August 1963. As a result of the British Railways Modernisation Plan of 1954, orders were placed with Cowans Sheldon in November 1959 for; eight 30 ton and ten 75 ton steam cranes and these were constructed between 1960 and 1962. Four of these new cranes were allocated to the Western Region, but the nearest to this accident was the London Midland Region steam crane based at Saltley Depot:

WR No LMR No. Works No Capacity Bogie Const. Depot in 1963
139   58 30 tons 5 Axles Newport
140 RS1099 59 Banbury
- RS1091 65 Saltley
141   85 75 tons at 18 foot radius 4 Axles + Weight relieving bogies Swindon
142   84 Canton

Steam Crane No RS1091/30 was built in 1961 by Cowans Sheldon at their works in Upperby near Carlisle. The crane weighted 65 tons and was paired with a four wheeled, long wheel-base, 19 ton match wagon (No ADB 9998524). The crane had a Spencer-Hopwood vertical boiler operated at a pressure of 150 lb and could carry 1,000 gallons of water. The crane's controls were hydraulically powered. The bogie had roller-bearing axleboxes allowing the crane to be towed at speeds up to 60 mph. It was fitted with vacuum brakes, but also had steam brakes for when operating detached from a locomotive.

This crane spent its last operational days as the spare crane for Stoke-on-Trent District based at Chester West Depot and arrived at the Severn Valley Railway (SVR) on 24th June 1977 in its original red livery. Unfortunately the crane's condition gradually deteriorated and it was eventually scrapped in November 2010. The SVR has an identical steam crane No RS1087/30 preserved at Bridgenorth, while another WR No 139 is preserved at the Birmingham Railway Museum at Tyseley.

Robert Ferris