CR Breakdown Cranes Nos 1 & 2

Any aspect related to the prototype stock.
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CR Breakdown Cranes Nos 1 & 2

Post by lindsay_g »

I’m finally progressing conversion of a D&S breakdown crane kit to one as supplied to the CR. Differences between the CR cranes and the standard Cowan Sheldon Mk 1 15t cranes were highlighted in an article in TTL #118, but since then I have discovered yet more differences! Whilst I've figured out most areas (but not how to model all of them), I’m left pondering over 2 aspects which I’ll share with the Forum. I don’t expect to get definitive answers to either query particularly the first mentioned but the views or opinions of others with more in depth knowledge than I would be appreciated.


The first is the livery of the cranes which seems to have remained unchanged between delivery in 1886 until at least 1915 based on images from new until the Kirtlebridge and Quintinshill accidents. Some time after 1915 (and presumably until after the end of WW1) several changes were made to the cranes and a lined livery was introduced presumably in colours common to some other CR stock. However, what might the colours have been until 1915?

If we examine the well distributed photograph of the new crane behind a Drummond Jumbo, part of which is reproduced below, the chassis, crab and boiler are a darker colour with the first two having a somewhat glossy appearance. This is not dissimilar to the appearance of the loco so were they painted black? Gloss and matt?

Crane livery.jpg
Crane livery.jpg (130.91 KiB) Viewed 5240 times
The jib is distinctly lighter and matt. Looking at the runner wagon and brake van, the jib is lighter than them when you might have expected their paintwork, or at least the brake van, to fade with age. There is no discernible difference between the sides and ends of the brake van which might have helped - both red and red oxide have been suggested to me as possible colours of the jib.

The only lettering on the cranes was their number painted on both sides of the bunker/tank. This looks a temporary affair but lasted nearly 30 years at least! In several images the lettering sits within a rectangle (see image below) as if it were another colour or freshly painted on top of the delivery coat – the differentiation between colours isn’t great at all.

Might anyone have info to speculate on the above aspects?


Boiler fittings.jpg
Boiler fittings.jpg (59.46 KiB) Viewed 5240 times
Second query pertains to the various items on the boiler. In some later photographs two water gauges can be made out and both are at the same height. However, in the delivery photograph (partly reproduced above) there appears to be a number of taps/valves at differing levels - but might the light be shining through the glass of water gauges rendering them transparent? There is also a dial gauge which isn’t present in later images. I’m at a loss as to how these items and associated pipework sat together on the cranes in their earlier years. Might anyone be able to offer up a sketch of what might have existed – or magically produce a new image revealing the answer?


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