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NVR 40t Steam Crane

Another year, another lift

After a quiet winter, the crane has awoken from hibernation to reunite NVR’s Thomas’s chassis with its boiler.

In the previous month, we’d done routine maintenance - oiling ropes, greasing all accessible points, checking and topping-up axleboxes. Also we’d had a training day which, as well as keeping our skills sharp allowed us to ensure that all was well with boiler and mechanism.  It was.

A video of this operation made by John Wood ca be seen on youtube at


13th April 2016

Crane lurks behind Thomas’s chassis, steam blowing from safety valve.

The boiler is hidden behind the crane, so it’s slew right 135, pickup boiler, slew left 180, drop boiler.  What could be simpler?

First thing is to move Thomas’s chassis forward, so that the back end of  the crane doesn’t  hit it while slewing.

Picture from David Withers

Jib near maximum elevation as the boiler begins to rise.

Picture from David Withers

Left slew is done and jib-down to complete the traverse is under way. Tag lines are used to align boiler with respect to chassis.

Getting close.  Note that boiler is slightly back-end down.  This wasn’t intentional but did prove useful in allowing the firebox/ashpan to be located between the frames before locating the smokebox base at the front of the chassis.

Picture from David Withers

Job done.  Chains have been unhooked and crane is straightened up prior to disposal.

Patches on sides are left over from last year’s boiler overhaul, when the boiler was lifted out through the side and the panels replaced.  A good cleanup and some painting is needed.

Picture from David Withers