Crane Day at Campo

by Daisy Welch

On Tuesday March 17th 2009, Cid Carlson and Frank Schudar from C & M Crane Company arrived bright and early with a big crane and support truck to move some heavy things that we couldn't reach with our rail-crane. These fine gentlemen donated their time, expertise and equipment to help us out.
The first project was moving the ancient wooden boxcar that has been sitting next to the Campo Depot for approximately 93-years. It served as the Museum's movie theater since the mid 1980s. Our new restroom building requires that we lay a brick walkway from the Depot, and the boxcar theater had to be moved out of the way.

Last week we pulled out the old walkway and Brian Elmore pulled the old toilet trailer, leaving us a clear shot to the boxcar. We also emptied out the boxcar, carefully wrapping the display items and moving out the cases, chairs and TV.
The crane was set up, added 16000-lbs of weight as a counterbalance, spread out its stabilizing feet, and we threaded canvas straps under the boxcar and up to a big spreader.

There were tense moments as we worried that the boxcar was not in good enough shape to be hoisted up in the air, but as you can see, it went up with only the smallest of creaks. It sailed up and over the new bathrooms and was set down on trucks which had been previously painted and placed on a length of snap track.
We found that the trucks did not match the bolster on the car well enough to set it down, so we placed oak wedges underneath, then set down easily, level, and very stable. Now the boxcar is back in its original place, where we found it serving as storage for the folks living in the Depot, except that now it looks like a railroad car!

Next we will build ramp access from the ground and the new Depot deck, then return the TV, chairs and display cases. We can also begin the process of repairing and perhaps restoring this unique piece of Campo railroad history.
The second project for the crane was to lift one of the Army surplus containers off the wheeled base and place it on the ground west of the Car Barn. This will be moved up against the Car Barn, with a door cut through, providing better parts and hardware storage. Brian Elmore brought his Kenworth, the air jacks and the brakes worked first try, the container went up, Brian drove the trailer away, and it was set down.
We were most impressed with Cid, Frank and their crane. Everything went smoothly and safely. They are highly skilled and were also very patient with the crew of amateurs that tried to be helpful and keep out of the way at the same time.
Helpers included Brian Elmore, Bill Armfield, Marty Bernard, Don Robertson, and Daisy Welch on camera. It was a lovely warm day out in Campo, and we had a great time!


Updated 03/21/2009