Built: 1914 Lifting capacity with outriggers: 75 tons at 16 ft. radius, 34 tons at 25 ft. radius Lifting capacity without outriggers: 18 tons at 16 ft. radius, 10 tons at 25 ft. radius Unit weight: 185,000 lbs. Length (crane and boom): 27 ft. 3 in. Acquired: 1973
The Industrial Works of Bay City, Michigan built this crane as unit #2573 for the Canadian Northern Railway. The railway then renumbered it to 63017. When Canadian Northern amalgamated with Canadian National in 1920, the crane was renumbered to 50127.
Most of its career was spent working out of the station in Hanna, Alberta. It was self-propelled and powered by a vertical steam boiler inside the cab. Below are two plaques from the crane. Its original number is visible on the plaque at left.
Built: 1912 Weight: 42,000 lbs. Acquired: 1973 from CN
A constant companion to 63017 is its idler car, 57611. It was originally built as a flat car and then later converted for use as an idler. The car serves two purposes. First, it provides space in a train for the crane arm to "sit". Without it, and with the crane arm being in the front position, the front coupler on the crane would be inaccessible. Second, it carries spare equipment, supplies and tools required for the crane during operation. This idler, however, serves a third purpose: sleeping accommodations. Since the crane is fired and operated like a locomotive, there are sleeping bunks for a crane engineer, an operator and a fireman.
Crane 50387 / Idler 54597
Built: 1956 Acquired: 2000 from CN
This diesel crane was built by Industrial-Brownhoist and bears serial number 12325. Its capacity is 250 tons. Its companion idler (on the right) was built as a flat car 634520, converted to an idler car in 1979 and renumbered to 54597. The idler allows the crane to be placed in the centre of a work train. Without it, the coupler underneath the boom would be inaccessible.
51566 was formerly a tender for Grand Trunk Pacific 4-6-0 Locomotive 618 which then became CN 1441. This tender was last used with CN piledriver 50122. It is equipped with arch bar tender trucks fitted with heavy duty leaf springs and steel-tired wheels with 5.5 x 10 journals. Steel tired wheels were required for passenger service.
One of the lesser known benefits provided by the tender was the unintended service it provided to "the knights of the road" (hoboes) when traveling on a cold winter's night. The warmth radiating from inside the water tank, combined with some pieces of cardboard for a mattress and an old blanket or tarp, provided the economy-minded traveller a reasonable degree of comfort during his journey.
Flat Car 28251
Built: 1909 Light Weight: 38,000 lbs. Acquired: 1982 from CN
This flat car was built by the Dominion Car and Foundry for the Canadian Northern Railway, and given number 28251. It became CN 650090. When it went into work service, it was renumbered to 57383. It has been painted and lettered for the Canadian Northern Railway. It is on display under the Hart Parr tractor, a set of discs and a 2 share walking plow.
Built: 1930 Length: 40.6 ft Acquired: 1997 from CN
This gondola was originally built as box car 509363 by National Steel Car for CNR. In December 1975, under order AK12-75, the car was cut down and converted into Gondola 58285 for work service. It was lettered as a High Speed Accessory car and MWF as well. The gondola is currently being used for storage.
Bunk Car 18104
Built: 1920 Acquired: 1983
This car was built for Henry Ford's Detroit, Toledo and Ironton Railroad as a 10-compartment companion car #50 for Henry Ford's business car "FAIRLANE". In 1943, NAR bought the car in to serve as the Day Coach. It was numbered 1953. This day coach had reclining seats for 66 passengers. It was converted for work service in 1967. In its current incarnation as a bunk car, it has a toilet, wash room, shower room, recreation room and bunk area. The bunk area has a bed, two drawers, window, upper shelves, and locker for each man. The car also contains a Henry Ford interpretative display.
Stelco Diesel Crane
Built: 1956 Acquired: 2014
This diesel crane (Model 840) was built by American-Ohio Crane for the Steel Company of Canada (Stelco). It was used for lifting scrap in the Alta Steel Plant in Edmonton. Additional cable is now required to reattach the crane boom and magnet that came with the crane.