Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 90.djvu/370

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Rescuing a Dro\¥ned Locomotive

How a one hundred and twenty-ton engine was raised from the bottom of the bay

��WHILE handling a pile driver equip- ment used in rebuilding an old trestle at San Pedro, Cal., a one hundred and twenty-ton locomotive broke through its track, toppled over the piling supporting the trestle and fell down a slop- ing embankment to the bottom of the bay. It went through thirty feet of water and half-buried itself, top down, in slime and mud.

A floating derrick barge with equipment powerful enough to raise the engine was not available. A local railroad super- intendent finally de- vised the ingenious method illustrated by which the big engine was successfully re- covered.

Two barges, each of two hundred-ton capacity, were floated out over the approxi- mate location of the "drowned" locomo- tive. They were placed parallel to each other and united at each end by two girders made of three logs of twenty-foot piling lashed together with a four and a half inch manila rope tied about the piling and bits. As each turn of this lashing was made a hoisting engine was used to pull the rope tight. . A complete coil of rope was used at each end of the girder, and several short lashings were made between the ends as well.

Before the hoisting work started, some ob- jectionable pile stumps had to be sawed off close to the bottom of the bay by a diver with a short piece of cross-cut saw. The first operation, necessary was to turn

���The first operation was to turn the engine and its tender right side up by means of cables attached by a diver



Railroad ties inserted for cribbing under the supporting bridging. The hoisting was continued until the crib- bing was ten or twelve feet above deck

��the engine and its tender right side up. This had to be done in two operations as the tender and engine could not be separa- ted, owing to their depth in the slime. To support the engine, three clusters of large timbers were rigged across the barges. Two of these were placed at each end and one in the middle. From these supports one and one half inch steel cables were dropped to the engine, passed under it and made fast to it by the diver.

When the cables were all made fast below and drawn tight about the supporting timbers above, fifty- ton hydraulic jacks were placed at each end of the supporting bridging. As the sup- ports were jacked up, railroad ties were in- serted under them for cribbing in themanner shown in the pictures. After the engine was turned rightside up the cables had to be readjusted and more units attached. The hoisting then con- tinued until the cribbing had been built about ten or twelve feet above the deck of the barges. Extra cable lashing was put on to hold the engine in suspension until the cribbing was removed and the supporting timbers lowered back to the deck of the barges. By repetitions of this performance the engine was elevated sufficiently from the bottom of the bay, so that it and the barges could be towed intact on to some mud flats half a mile distant and close to a spur railroad track. The whole equipment was pulled aground by a locomotive.


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