Breakdown Cranes

Cowans Sheldon

The breakdown crane has long been one of the more interesting vehicles on our railways which, in its time, has been hand operated, steam powered and nowadays diesel powered. The 1970s photograph below shows Cowans Sheldon 30 ton diesel breakdown crane DB965183 (later ADB965813, and then ADRC96100 under TOPS) which was paired with match wagon DB998530. Initially allocated to Feltham in June 1962, it was moved to Clapham Junction in September 1970 and to Horsham in September 1980. It was still at Horsham in April 2001, but is now thought to be with Fastline at Doncaster.

photograph by John Lewis
information from Peter Tatlow

Following the collapse of Clapham Junction's 'A' Box on 10th May 1965 this Cowans Sheldon crane was brought in to help with repairs. Obviously all traffic on the Windsor side of Clapham Junction was suspended for some considerable time. This photo was taken three or four days after the event by which time all passing traffic did so within the confines of a very severe speed restriction which was probably 5 mph. That applied even to the Brighton lines which is why this passing shot, taken from the window of an up Brighton service, is so sharp.
Cowans Sheldon Crane

photograph by Mike Morant

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Cowans Sheldon | Ransomes & Rapier

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This page was last updated 24 April 2003

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