Midland Railway Yard Crane

Status: Ongoing restoration

Location: Wansford: Next to education building



Map of Castle Bytham in relation to WansfordThis 5 ton goods crane came from Castle Bytham on the Midland and Great Northern Railway Joint line about 20 miles north of Wansford.

The station was a single platform on the line between Bourne and Melton Mowbray. It did however have a siding for the unloading of wagons. The crane would have been hand operated for the removal of goods from railway wagons onto an adjacent horse and cart, or latterly truck. The ‘5 Tons’ refers to the amount the crane could safely lift, though without any form of weighing system this was left purely to the skill and experience of the operator to judge the load. The line and station, along with most of the M&GN was closed in 1959.

The Crane in situ at Castle BythamWhen the crane was removed it took two days to dig the concrete base out before it was put into store at Railworld. It was put on long term loan to IRPS and the Nene Valley Railway for errection by the new education centre in 2012. 

November 2013

The work on the crane has been linked throughout to the progress on the Nene Valley Railway's educational building and classroom next to it. As such, work has been slow and steady on the crane through the year. The internal mechanisms on the crane were badly damaged and have been stripped. Each part has been assessed and repainted, however to get the crane working again would require a number of new gears to be cast. It is therefore likely the internal parts will be installed back as they were, though in a non-operational manner.

The jib itself has been needle gunned back to bare metal and primed, undercoated and top coated in original light grey. 

The base was installed in the summer of 2013 whilst the crane was finally craned into place in October 2013 when a small crane was on site for other tasks.

The next step will be to start to reinstall the innerds of the crane and a hook on the end of the jib. 

crane angie

 The crane following erection. Note the blocks to replace the weight of the innerds. (Photo: Angie Nurse)

 crane2013 lowres

It is seen here at The Great Train Robbery weekend in October. Since the previous photo the remainder of the base has been painted. (Photo: Chris Hallam)

July - September 2012

A hole has been dug that will house the base of the crane. As it will not be used to lift heavy loads any more, the foundations do not have to be as extensive as they would orignally have been. When the crane is erected the base will have concrete pads poured to hold it.

The base has been needle gunned, primed and painted into black gloss.

The internal mechanisms are extremely damaged and are being extensively overhaulled.

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