Montour X-1 Crane
The X-1 whistle has been restored, click here (movie) for a listen.
Builders Sheet for
Repair Parts Catalog
for the X-1`
photo tribute to Montour Industrial Brown Hoist X-1. Seen here in the
West End Disco near the Champion Yard Office. Crane Operator F. Davy
has justed started her up and is allowing her to warm before beginning
a day of ditching around Champion. The West End Disco
was referred to "L&C" Siding by the Coal
Company... Or Louis & Copeland Siding.
Gene P. Schaeffer
to the X-1...
1988 the X-1 was the only working crane for the Briggs & Turvis
Dennision. When B&T moved from the MRR property at Lotus they
shipped their crane that was painted bicentennial colors to the
Dennison location when both locations merged.
By Bryan Seip 21-Oct-2007
On my way home from my # 71 visit, I stopped at Dennison to check out the Montour crane X-1. It sits on a spur along the road at the edge of Dennison. The Ohio Central main line runs through Dennison and right past the crane.
don't think it has moved in quite a while. The track has been removed
behind it, and the tree at the side of the tank car in front of it is
growing between the running board and the tank. The tree is about as
big around as my wrist, so it has been growing for a while. Bring an
axe if you want to get X-1 out of there...
The left side shows the Montour logo and
number. X001 has been added below them. On the side frame, MONTOUR is
The right side is in poorer shape due to sun & weather, but the logo, number and lettering on the frame is also evident.
On this detail of the front of the cab,
MTR is stenciled - a similar one is on the other side. So, there is no
doubt as to where this crane came from.
The Move Back to Home Rails
The Montour X-1 crane has been donated to the Montour Railroad Historical Society by the Ohio Central Systems.
Due to the impending sale of the Ohio Central Systems to Genesee & Wyoming Inc. - the X-1 was requested to be removed from Ohio Central property before the transfer of ownership on Sept 12. Century Steel Erectors have graciously offered to make the move from Dennison, Ohio to the TAR Storage Facility on Valleybrook Road in McMurray - the site of Montour Mine #4.
Our sincere thanks to the principals involved in making the X-1 Project a reality.
- Jerry Joe Jacobson - CEO, Ohio Central Systems
- Donn Taylor and the Taylor Family - Century Steel Erectors
- Tom Robinson - TAR Storage
- The Montour Trail Council
and - to all the MRHS Members who have given their time and efforts.
Restoring Montour Rails
August 30, 2008
The X-1 project began Saturday with the MRHS Tie Gang laying down the base for the X-1 at TAR Storage.
Thanks to Stan - Bill - Dennis - Ken & Gene - and also Tim & Pete for everyone's helping hands.
We were unsuccessful at getting the rail out of the cut nearby - but are hopeful that we will recover rail on Monday.
Here is a genuine Montour Section Gang - plus 30 something years - working at getting the ties down - as Gene & Tim go for another tie. Somehow - the ties got heavier in the past 30 years........
Two Montour former Employees, Gene Schaeffer and Tim Sposato work the tie tongs.
September 1, 2008
the MRHS laid rail for the X-1 at Montour #4
Thanks to Joe Lane and to Bill Errera Truck Fabricators for supplying
the truck and the expertise to recover the rails and transport them to
the X-1 site.
Bill gave it a whack.
Move From Dennison
the X-1 took its first step in the journey back to home territory. At
Ohio the X-1 was moved for the first time in 7+ years as it was
relocated onto a
siding where Century Steel Erectors can disassemble it for the move to
destination at Montour #4.
Central engine 2912 and crew coupled up to the X-1 with a flat car and
to move it from the spur where it has been sitting for years.
Nice and easy – over some old switches and broken rail that had to be wedged into position – keep checking to make sure everything stays on the track – it is rolling easily.
was really neat to watch it move and walk along with it down the track.
clears the switch – now the shove back can begin to push it down the
back along the siding to be spotted.
keeps an eye on the proceedings.
there – only a couple of car lengths to go.
seems only fitting that it is shoved next to a string of coal hoppers
be loaded at a coal mine nearby.
Conductor William Dick gives the call, “2912 – that’ll do.”
Tim takes care of uncoupling.
next step will be a move by trucks over a 90 mile journey.
This is the Ohio Central Crew that gave the X-1 a nice ride.
William Dick– Engineer Clarence Miller – Track Dept. Gary Gerber –
Supervisor Tim Sposato
morning – Century Steel Erectors will take over and X-1 will be loaded
semi-trailers to continue its journey. A ride east on Rt 22 –
Parkway West – and South on I-79. Hopefully all loads will be in or
McMurray by Thursday evening.
Then Friday morning the X-1 will be placed on its new home track – back in Montour Country to stay.
started early in Dennison. A bright sunny day ahead of us. It
seemed appropriate that the X-1 lay snuggled up to a string of coal
climbs the boom to set the first piece of rigging and get the day
boom comes down with no problems.
cables are cut and the block & hook removed. The first step is
done by 8am.
The boom is loaded onto a trailer and moved aside for its trip home
in the day. Things are really looking good.
carefully – as this was probably the last time of the day that Buck had
smile on his face.
ol’ X-1 wasn’t about to go quietly. I
guess it just didn’t want to leave the rails – because at this point of
day, it started to give the crew a bad time. What everyone thought
would be a
simple lift to pull the cab house off the frame turned into a 7 hour
cutting – torching – lifting – and cursing as X-1 refused to let go.
were made to the American Ohio Locomotive Crane Co. asking for any
advice and a
look in the old manual – but they couldn’t come up with that “secret
and Eddie took turns with the torch – up underneath the frame – cramped
quarters – sparks in their face – fumes in their eyes –
molten metal at their feet. Still, the X-1 refused to budge. Finally –
the cab came free & that lift was completed.
had the last laugh anyway.
Stan gave it a lift, we found out that the Cab weighed in at 68,000
it was the frame – an easy lift. 63,300 lbs. The X-1 had
given up its fight for today and finally said “Take me home”
that – the X-1’s trucks were loaded onto the last trailer. The boom
the trucks load were sent on their way – arriving at Montour #4 at
Cab and Frame loads started their journey – but were stopped by the
on the permit for those loads. They will finish their journey
in the morning and the X-1 will finally be in Montour territory again.
morning’s show – like Humpty Dumpty - put it all back together again.
Thanks to the Century crew for all their work in getting the X-1 back where it belongs.
X-1 is finally home!!
a sight – as Century Steel Erectors’ truck rolls down the hill on
McMurray Road & under the Montour Trail Bridge.
The X-1 is ready to make the last turn towards home.
Meanwhile – Matt –
Don – Eddie – Eric & Stan set the first truck on the rails at
Montour #4 – the new (or should we say old) home of the X-1.
Gene’s rail gang had
made sure everything was set and in gauge.
The frame arrives and
is placed back on the trucks.
Then the big one – as the cab house is swung into position on the frame. It goes much easier than yesterday – no trouble as the X-1 behaves itself and goes right into place with only a little friendly persuasion needed.
The final step – the boom is reseated. All the King’s horses and all the King’s men – but the Century guys got the X-1 together again.
Hammer” and his crew wrap up the final lift – and the X-1 is once again
on Montour rails - Home to stay!!
Century Steel Erectors crew for this day - the final step of the journey - strike a pose. Jake Simcic – Eddie George – John Cecchine – Stan Indyk – Matt Green & Don Shuttleworth got the move done. Somehow Eric Graziano escaped the picture taking chore. Thanks fellas – for a job well done!!
Perhaps the biggest
smiles were on the faces of the MRHS members who joined us today. The
X-1 Project will continue – as we clean – scrape – fix –
paint & renovate the crane for permanent display.
Still a lot of work to do – but the biggest step is now done.
X-1 is Home!!
Joe Jacobson & the Ohio Central Railroad System
Taylor & the Taylor Family of Century Steel Erectors
Robinson of TAR Storage
Errera Truck Fabricating & Joe Lane
Sposato – the guardian angel who saved the X-1 years ago –
ex-Montour guys, Gene, RJ & Carter for putting in their time
with the X-1 – both in years past and now.
– to all who helped with the “grunt work” – lifting – cutting – digging
– dragging - spiking and all the
other chores that were necessary to bring the X-1 home!
Thanks to one and all.
Montour Railroad Historical Society
The Montour Railroad Historical Society
Recently a couple of work sessions have given the X 1 some new paint & logos & lettering. We are trying to get a sense of progress showing on X 1 for the Trail Opening Ceremony this Saturday. I think things are looking good. Priming & painting a couple of panels - closing up the missing windows - new stirrups & air hoses - all make X 1 look like a piece of equipment needing a paint job & cleaning instead of just a rusting hulk sitting beside the trail.
Thanks to all who gave a hand to these pieces of the X 1 Project. Tim posted a couple of pictures a few days ago of Tyler doing all the work reinstalling the stirrups & air hoses. Well - Tim did supervise....
Last week, Gene put on a couple of Montour Logos & lettering. Today - Gene & Bryan did another logo & some lettering -
Here, Bryan starts to spray the logo on the left side - well, most of the paint went on the logo....
Meanwhile, Gene is touching up the logo on the other side.
We also added lettering to the radiator cover - so it is ready to go.
There were lots of people out on the trail again this morning. Many of them stopping to read the displays and to chat with us about the X 1 and the Trail - so we are still getting lots of attention. Now that the leaves are starting to fall - and the newly painted logos are in place - X 1 is very noticeable from Valley Brook Road.