Thursday, January 24, 2019

MoW: Sidebooms or sidewinder (a dozer with a boom and a counterweight)

Sidebooms or sidewinders are dozers with a boom hinged on the left side and a counterweight hinged on the right side. Also, a hoist works is mounted on the counterweight side. They were developed to help lay oil pipelines. But they have proven to be useful in handling freight cars and locomotives. Especially for cleaning up derailments.
The ability of sidebooms and pipelayers to walk with a long strand of pipe makes possible a project like this. Bechtel Corporation is walking a 600-foot strand of pipe into the Niagara River for the Tennessee Gas Transmission Company on September 11, 1954. This was the first pipeline to cross the Niagara, and a fleet of Cat MD7s, equipped with extra counterweights, is doing the honors. The MD7 was a very popular sideboom; fleets of them still turned up in pipeline auctions into the early 2000s.
I tried finding info on sidebooms on Cat's web site, but it was broke. So I found this image.

At 0:25 we see some sidebooms comingdown a road. Each is carrying a diesel wheelset to be loaded on the truck we see in the left foreground. In a couple of seconds, we will see the counterweight being lowered in anticipation of lowering the boom. But I have no idea why they lowered the boom before they got around the power pole. Especially since they raised it before they got to the truck. At 2:23 you can see the traction motor that is attached to the wheelset. The traction motor is what makes this a heavy load. Lowering the counterweight when the boom is lowered not only keeps the center of gravity between the dozer's tracks, it lowers the center of gravity for improved stability.

Hulcher is a contractor that has developed the sideboom as a tool for cleaning up derailments.
Hulcher also uses them for non-emergency tasks such as placing heavy loads on flat cars.
[That would be the rotor for a generator in a power plant.]
[Hulcher cleaning up a derailment.]
I had to search the web a bit to find photos that included the counterweight.
Not all track work is emergency repairs. Here they are doing a #20 switch scheduled replacement. Rail is remarkably flexible. You can't lift it in just a couple of places with cranes. Sidebooms provide an economical solution to providing several lift points and to providing mobility.
An 8-axle mobile crane is a big hydro-crane, but they are using the rear winch on several dozers instead to raise the locomotive. Is the crane going to be used when the rear of the locomotive is at the top of the cliff to raise the cab end over the concrete retaining wall?
Terry Fisher photo
Sidebooms have proven so efficient for cleaning up train wrecks that the "Big Hook"' (heavy tonnage rail crane) has become obsolete. They are now found only in museums. But the smaller rail cranes are still used for maintenance-of-way projects.

Screenshot @ -6:08 from Gil Moser post
Derailment on the Van Buren Sub in Morgan Arkansas, Second set of trucks on second unit derailment and split the switch at Control Point (CP 336) to siding. Dragging half the second unit across Bridge 336.3(1) (4-Spans RCS) Hope Ya'll enjoy video.
Doug Meigs Need to use an Atlas re-railer.
[I'm too lazy to research an "Atlas re-railer." I think the end of the video is the same clip repeated a few times. I never did figure out what the excavator was doing. Later I saw the cable was being pulled by a tracked front-end loader instead of another locomotive.]
Harry Brannen posted, cropped
[Sometimes a railroad is welling to pay for a sideboom for each corner of a car. We can see on the right-front unit that the how the counterweight moves out to balance the load.]
John W. Coke posted
Donahue Brothers, Inc.
Clarence Thibodeaux Side booms are best for re railing.
Carl Brooks Used Hulcher’s in the Detroit was amazing just watching them do their job with the sidewinders....
John W. Coke
Donahue Bros Inc
Ray Jones sidewinders, the KING for derailments and other track work..........

John W. Coke posted
Donahue Brothers, Inc.
[They have four sidebooms on the job, one for each corner.]
But sometimes they call in their cranes.
Donahue Brothers, Inc. posted

Lisa Catera posted three photos of a derailment with the comment: "This morning [6/6/2019] in Taylor TX."
James Patterson Sidewinders
George Dubbs Yep called sidewinders four can get hold on each corner of the biggest locomotive or loaded freight car And carry it to good track and put it back on track....used them many times,time savers verses old wrecking cranes.....



Wayne Helms posted

There were no injuries. One report called it a sand train. But some of the hoppers are too long for sand. And at 0:08 the yellow bulk-head flat car looks like it is carrying lumber.
(new window) In addition to sidebooms, the other goto "clean up tool" is an excavator with a "thumb."

The comments on this share as well as the video below indicates this rerailer can be used for locomotives as well. It seems much cheaper and faster than swinging a locomotive from a couple of hooks. Unless UP 9714 above ended up with the wheels some distance from the tracks.
Terry Dabbs We used to do that with wood blocks. Re-rail em and get back to work. Now-a-days, you drop 1 wheel on the ground and you’ll see 5 semi’s with heavy equipment heading towards it.
Andy Peters Re-rail frogs are still used, not a image of by gone days.

(new window)  The action starts at 1:38.  Note there is one "white hat" for each sideboom operator giving the signals.  At 15:04, they shutdown and move the sidebooms to the rear of the car and just pull the front truck through the dirt. They steered the front trunk by changing were they pull on it. At 23:21 you can see gravel on top of the springs of the truck. So the truck got buried pretty deep to stop the locomotive's first pull. The buried truck is why they moved the sidebooms to the back of the car and allowed the front truck to plow dirt. Would four sidebooms fit? That is, one at each corner.

River Rail Photo has an album of four photos showing several sidebooms rerailing tank cars. "All of the cars rolled away on their own wheels."

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