The Crane Department has spent most of its time assisting others in progressing work on the Avon Riverside project, which includes extending the track over the River Avon bridge building a brand new platform and run round loop.

Our role has been to transfer materials from road trailers to railway wagons, then offloading and putting these materials in place at the River Avon other end.  This has been with the help of other individuals who have either volunteered or been press ganged into standing on top of road trailers or railway wagons.  While balancing on top of various concrete sections and lengths of railway line these helpers had to keep a sharp eye out to dodge the items of lifting equipment swinging towards them with or without lengths of rail or large lumps of concrete hanging below.  None of the crane drivers bear a grudge - honest!?

With this project the volume of material has been such that crane support has been provided on average covering four days a week.

We have also helped out both diesel and steam loco departments in moving and repositioning various items, as well as helping the Permanent Way department with other jobs.  

Our diesel compressed air crane has up till recently been operating with the minimum of problems and has passed its annual insurance inspection with out any problems.  From the comments of the inspector I think this crane is considered as being unique and unbelievable.   A diesel engine driving a compressor which pumps air through a steam regulator into a pair of steam cylinders ???

Perhaps when this project is over we will be able to restore one of our other cranes.

My thanks to everyone who has helped us lift and move the materials for the Avon Riverside project.

Gordon Ashton.

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This page last updated by Tony Wray on 11/11/2003.

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