Re: Monon Bucyrus crane

Montford Switzer <ZOE@...>

Gene and others:

From the railroad records, photos, my notes as well as from personal
recollections I can tell you that during the late steam era the Monon
operated two heavy steam wreckers. They were originally numbered S.W.D.
(Steam Wreck Derrick?) 1 and S.W.D. 3. Some time around the end of WW
II they were renumbered X-1 and X-3 respectively. Another renumbering
occurred in the late 1950's when the received numbers 80001 and 80003
respectively as part of a general renumbering of non-revenue rolling
stock at that time.

Both derricks were steam powered Bucyrus-Erie units built in 1912 and
1929 respectively. Derrick #1 weighed 210,000 lbs and had a main hoist
capacity of 100T. Derrick #3 weighed 237,000 lbs with a main hoist
capacity of 150T. Derrick 1 rode on arch bar trucks with friction type
bearings. Derrick #3 had cast steel side frame trucks that looked a lot
like the Andrews design with roller type bearings.

Both units were painted black and usually had white lettering of the
style currently in use by the railroad so there were quite a few changes
over the years. During the period that the railroad was painting
freight cars black with yellow lettering at least one of the derricks
received these colors. Reflective end striping was also used in later

Both wreckers made it to 1971 and the L&N merger, but because they were
old and steam powered did not last long after that. I'm not sure of
their final disposition.

Photos seem to verify that SWD 1 was kept at Shops (Lafayette, IN) and
SWD 3 at McDoel (Bloomington, IN). Naturally whey were used for
clearing wrecks, but were also called out for bridge and other heavy
work along with their support cars. I've seen photos of them being used
in earlier years by the Stores Department for handling bundles of axles.

The Monon also operated a Locomotive Crane that I've always known as
LC-2. It weighed 109,000 lbs with a maximum lifting capacity of 42,800
lbs. It was built by the Browning Co. in 1916 and explains why there
was not an SWD 2, it being LC-2 instead. The last time I saw it it had
a diesel engine radiator sticking out of it so you can guess the rest.

Within the past three years the Monon Society's THE HOOSIER LINE ran an
article on these cars written by George Lortz. It was much more
informative that what I have written here and had a number of very
interesting photos. Contact me off line if you would like more
information on this issue of THL or Monon Society membership.

Mont Switzer

-----Original Message-----
From: STMFC@... [mailto:STMFC@...] On Behalf Of
Sent: Tuesday, July 12, 2005 3:31 PM
To: STMFC@...
Subject: [STMFC] Monon Bucyrus crane

I recently acquired a small photo that shows a MONON Bucyrus crane, the
kind with the 'fishbelly' side sills & arch bar trucks. According to
the information available to me this was Bucyrus serial number 182
delivered in May or June 1912. The crane had a 100-ton capacity.

Is the foregoing correct? Did the Monon number this crane? If yes,
what number? When was it retired? What color was it painted? My
photo show the crane lettered "MONON" along the bottom edge of the
cab. Approximately when would or could this lettering have been first
Thanks in advance to all who have info and respond.
Gene Green

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