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3. The Carriage Shop - 70 Ton Lifting Traverser

Bob Reid



In one of the previous entries to the blog, a question arose about the somewhat unique lifting traverser (most are for "traversing" sideways! only) that was installed between the Carriage and Carriage Lift shop at Glasgow Works. Pictures of it do not appear too often however having first run this past Andy.Y these images were taken from old BREL Glasgow Works pamphlets.


There were three traversers in the Caley, one outside of the carriage shop, one within the paint shop and this, the only one inside the main workshops. The difference with this particular one, built by John Boyd Ltd of Annan, was that it was a lifting traverser equipped with two lifting frames complete with four electric driven hoists at each end (the frames containing each pair of hoists were adjustable along fixed rails according to the length of vehicle). In total the lifting capacity was 70 Tons and far in excess of the heaviest vehicles they encountered. Vehicles being brought onto the traverser were drawn down from the main (No.1) entrance road by an electric winch using a long steel rope. The winches can be seen on the deck of the traverser at the nearest end of the coach. Once on the traverser the vehicle was disconnected from its bogies allowing them to be run out from below and taken for overhaul. The bogies were then replaced with higher than normal ‘service bogies’ (putting the underframe about five feet above the ground). The service bogies can be seen under the vehicle on the traverser and a spare is seen sitting to the left of it. Once the service bogies were in place, the traverser was moved to the next free road in the Carriage Lift shop and the vehicle drawn off the traverser by running the steel winch cable out and around the nearest capstan and back onto the vehicle. Note the large beam above the traverser in the photo is not part of the traverser itself. When it was installed, to gain enough space for the traverser pit, the old Caledonian Railway cast iron roof columns had to be cut away and these beams used (along with additional end columns) to provide the necessay roof support.



This shot of the other side of the traverser shows the console on which the operator sat and controlled it. Needless to say he supported Scotland!


Modelling the traverser should be interesting to say the least. Perhaps the easiest way would be to modify the Heljan unit and add the lifting frame to it. Whether or not I’ll try and make the hoists work is a bit of an unknown at this stage!





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Guest Max Stafford


That will take a wee bit of modelling, Bob!

I'm looking forward to seeing how you make this. It will be a good test of your skills for sure! :)



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It's amazing what you can do with 16 x 2mm scale driving wheels - at least it'll need to be wacko.gif


If it can fit in and work as I would hope (can you set the spacing between adjacent tracks to whatever you like or is it fixed?) then the best approach would be modifying the Heljan traverser however it's a bit on the big side.....



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Hi Bob,


Thanks for the info on the lifting traverser, it really is an impressive bit of kit. Shame as a teenager going round the works I didn't appreciate it!


I think you should be able to do something to represent it, after all (presumably) you will not be actually lifting anything with it.


Cheers Tony

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At the moment Tony there's no intention to have the hoist able to lift vehicles however it'll all depend on how well I get on with the basic traverser - would make a nice touch though!



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