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A locomotive crane consists of a welded steel carbody, rotating machine house, lattice boom and two sets of trucks designed to run on railroad track. The major components include a diesel engine, generator, traction motors, axles and various mechanical and hydraulic systems and controls. These cranes have a lifting capacity ranging from 25 to 250 tons depending of their size and how they are equipped.

A unique feature of locomotive cranes is their ability to perform lifting operations while serving as a locomotive for one or more attached rail cars. They can quickly travel miles to remote job sites under their own power, if required. Precision engineering and careful couterweighting enable them to work with very heavy lifts while maintaining their center of gravity over a narrow wheel base.

Ohio Locomotive Crane Co.

The Ohio Locomotive Crane Co. has been in operation since 1909 and is engaged mainly in the design, manufacturing and marketing of locomotive cranes. It is the only manufacturer of such equipment in North and South America. Additionally, a significant part of its business is the manufacture of replacement parts for such equipment.

Over the years, Ohio Crane has made a considerable investment in latest state-of-the-art design and manufacturing equipment and the tooling used to assure part quality and competitive pricing. Ohio supports the service of its cranes with a closely monitored and large inventory of finished parts.

American logoohio logo

The Ohio Locomotive Crane Company, Inc. was founded in 1909 by Mr. Charles F. Michael. The first locomotive crane was built in what was then the Carroll Foundry and Machine Company on North Sandusky Avenue. It was a steam powered machine with a coal burning boiler and had a lifting capacity of 10 tons... quite a difference from todayís diesel electric cranes with capacities up to 250 tons. In 1915, the plant was moved to its present address on East Southern Avenue. When Mr. Michael died in 1938, his sons Walter, Charles, and James guided the company for many years, through numerous plant and product expansions. In 1981, the company was sold to an investment group named Quincy Partners who held it through a downturn in the economy in the early 80ís. Quincy Partners sold the company, in 1986, to Manufacturing Mark One, Inc., a company formed by individuals who had been involved in the management of Ohio Crane for varying periods of time. In 1987, the parent company purchased Ohioís principle competitor, American Hoist & Derrick (AmHoist) and transferred the manufacture of its locomotive crane line to the Bucyrus facility. In 1998, Ohio Locomotive Crane Co. was sold to International Tug & Tote, (One of the principel Owners of Manufacturing Mark One). Today, the Ohio Locomotive Crane Company proudly flies the banners of both "American" and "Ohio". New locomotive cranes and parts for both makes of equipment are manufactured here in Bucyrus.

The above information and logos were used with the permission of the Ohio Locomotive Crane Co.


The Alaska Railroad uses their cranes for a wide variety of tasks.  They are used for driving pilings for bridges, scooping dirt, and even to scoop trees from up against a bridge in Whittier.

Here is the Alaska Railroad Crane Roster:

American 855DE Cranes, 55ton rating; LC-108, 109, 110 used by Heavy Equipment of MOW for lifting and ditching work system wide.

Ohio DE-400 Crane, 40 ton rating; LC-106 used by B&B for bridge work and pile-driving

Ohio DE-300 Crane, 30 ton rating; LC-107 used by B&B for bridge work, usually works in tandem with LC-106

American Crane, 60 ton rating; LC-111

Pettibone 260A #292

Note: American 840E Crane (built June, 1957), 50 ton rating, LC-103 was recently sold to the Alaska Central Railroad (AKC)

All cranes receiving new independent brake equipment, to replace obsolete valve as needed.  ARRC has purchased Trackmobiles CM-2,3,4 to suppliment LC cranes for engineering car movement formerly done by LC cranes within working areas.

Here is the historic locomotive crane roster

For you HO scale modelers, Walther's makes an undecorated locomotive crane

The following cranes are out of service:

LC-40, Burro 15 ton crane, out of service
LC-55, Industrial Works 100 ton wrecker, built 1920
LC-58, Bucyrus-Erie 160 ton wrecker

Click here for John Taubeneck's U.S. Army Wreckers 1940-1955

Early Panama Canal equipment 1, 2

Engineering drawrings

Click on the pictures below for a larger view.

LC #6 LC #26 LC #36 LC #36
#6 (not a locomotive crane) #26 #35 #36
LC #37 LC #55 LC #55 LC #55
#37 #55 #55 #55
LC #56 LC #55 LC #55 LC #55
#56 #55 #55 #55
LC #56 LC #56 LC #57 LC #57
#56 #56 #57 #57
LC #58 LC #58 Locomotive crane 103 LC #105
#58 #58 #103 #105
Locomotive Crane 106 Locomotive Crane 106 Locomotive Crane 107 Locomotive Crane 107
#106 #106 #107 #107
Locomotive Crane 107 Locomotive Crane 107 Locomotive Crane 108 Locomotive Crane 108
#107 #107 #108 #108
Locomotive Crane 109 Locomotive Crane 110 Locomotive Crane 110 Locomotive Crane 110
#109 #110 #110 #111
#292 #1085 104 105
#292 #1085
Whooping Crane      


Thanks to Frank Dewey, Curt Fortenberry, Robert Krol and John Taubeneck for providing the above information

© 1999-2018 John Combs unless otherwise noted
Page created 7/19/99 and last updated 2/6/18