Re: Crane ID Help

Garth Groff and Sally Sanford


Yes, I considered that it might be a locally-built conversion. I think the crane was not self-powered, but it is hard to tell for sure from my photos. If it is a cludge, the underframe might be much older and originally had arch-bar or other early trucks, with the AAR trucks being changed during the conversion. Still, it does have a more modern brake wheel and stand, rather than an upright brake wheel and shaft. I wouldn't have expected that to change.

I've never heard of the Browning marque, though the cab styles are similar. The general cab design hints at WWII to early 1950s, in keeping with the military crane. The W&W crane has some vague lettering on the A-end of the sideframe which says "xxxx 52", but it is very hard to read, and might have nothing to do with its build date. The difference in the booms might have a lot to do with the crane's capacity and intended reach. Obviously a truck-mounted crane is likely to be a lighter machine that a railroad crane. Cranes were also sometimes re-boomed, or even had extra booms for different tasks.

It certainly IS NOT a Burro (at least the underframe isn't), though the cab does have some similarities. AFAIK, all Burro cranes had only four wheels (the largest were Models 40 and 50, and there are plenty of examples of these to compare with). All the Burro cranes I have seen that still had their marque, either had the name painted on, or it was on an enameled plate. I have never seen one with the name cast into a part of the frame on the cab rear, though I'm sure someone will immediately produce such an image. 🙄

Someday I will get back up to Gore to see if the crane is still there, and if so, ask permission to get close to it and also photograph the other side. I haven't been there for a number of years, and since they scrapped out their ALCOs the line has lost a lot of its appeal (one of their RS-11s was still working for the ADM elevator in Winchester just few years ago, but hard to photograph). Last week when I was in the Winchester area it was raining, so I dropped plans to drive over to Gore.

Yours Aye,

Garth Groff  🦆

On Wed, Jan 8, 2020 at 9:38 AM mofwcaboose via Groups.Io <> wrote:
Still looking for a good picture of a crane definately identified as a Browning. The crane in the Flickr photo is a close but not exact match. The boom, in particular; note the large gusset at the lower end of the W&W crane boom, which is not present on the truck crane.

I have a suspicion  that the car under the W&W crane and the crane itself were once two seperate cranes. It could be that the original crane was a steam crane, probably purchased second-hand, and when it wore out, the crane was removed and this crane installed on the old frame. The resulting lash-up would not have been self propelled and have to be moved about by a locomotive.

John  C. La Rue, Jr.
Bonita Springs, FL

-----Original Message-----
From: Tim O'Connor <timboconnor@...>
To: main <>
Sent: Tue, Jan 7, 2020 11:35 am
Subject: Re: [RealSTMFC] Crane ID Help

What happened to the rear nameplate casting (in the ID photo, not this one)? Both Burros and Brownhoists had it.

On 1/7/2020 10:56 AM, Douglas Harding wrote:

Here is a truck mounted crane with the same cab/body
One comment says the crane is a Browning .
Doug  Harding
From: [] On Behalf Of Garth Groff and Sally Sanford
Sent: Tuesday, January 7, 2020 7:36 AM
Subject: [RealSTMFC] Crane ID Help
Attached are three photos of an unnumbered crane owned by the Winchester & Western. All three shots were outside their shops at Gore, Virginia, and taken from around 1990s to sometime past 2000 (the color view), but the crane definitely fits our era.
Any thoughts on the builder and model. I've looked through my few books with crane photos and don't find a match. George Elwood's Fallen Flags site does not have a photo (yet!).

Yours Aye,

Garth Groff  🦆

Tim O'Connor
Sterling, Massachusetts

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