Swinging on a Star
The whole process took less than an hour, but there was a lifetime of anticipation dangling on the end of that line, and we all held our breath.
The Crane owned by Hi Ball Crane Rentals in Lansing, gently lifted the railcar off of the trailer where it has been sitting for nearly 5 weeks. As soon as it was clear of the trailer, it began to swing freely in the air. Being airborne is not normally a good thing for a railroad car, but this time it was a thrill to see. Gasps came from the people who stood by watching. The men moved in quickly, and began to roll the wheels into position under the massive floating weight.
You may be surprised to know that the car just settles down on a pin in the center of those sets of wheels. Weight and just plain old gravity hold it together. The 1926 Ann Arbor Crew Car has finally settled into it’s new home at the historic Grand Trunk Railroad Depot in St. Johns. This whole move from trailer to track was made possible by a local man, Chad Teeples, who works for Christman Co. in Lansing. Chad is a volunteer on our railroad project, and he said he thought he might be able to help us off load the car without the use of dangerous manual labor that was used to load the car in Traverse City. He went to his boss Mike Kettlewell who is the president of Christman Constructors and asked if they could help. Mike had his operators come out and take a look at the job, and he felt that their cranes were not large enough to handle the load. Since they have a good working relationship with another company called Hi-Ball Crane Rentals he approached them and they decided to work together to donate the equipment and manpower to move our car. Their act of generosity is as spectacular as the show they put on for us Monday, May 8th, 2006 the day the Clinton Northern Railway Museum came to life.M. Elaine Twichell is the Project Manager of the Railroad Museum. For more information call 989 66 Train