Steam Crane 23 was built for the WAGR by Craven Brothers Ltd of Manchester, England, in 1912.
For more than three quarters of a century it shared derailment and breakdown work with the other WAGR breakdown crane, number 31 (Now based at the Pemberton Tramway Company), which was constructed by Cowans Sheldon and has a 60 ton lifting capacity.
Crane 23 saw out the last years of service based at Forrestfield but before the advent of standard gauge it was based at Northam. The increasing weight of modern locomotives and rollingstock, and the generally improved access roads along railway lines combined to make this crane surplus too Westrail requirements.
It was acquired by Hotham Valley when written off in late 1987. Currently it is out of service due to boiler problems and has not been used for many years.
HVR is a Volunteer Operated, Registered Tax Deductible Gift Recipient
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