Name: WTCo. No.501
Railroad of Record: Washington Terminal Company Type of Equipment: Crane Idler car, Manufactured by: Industrial Works of Bay City, Michigan Date Built: 1913
Wrecking cranes were a necessity in the railroad yards.
They assisted with removing trains from the track after derailments and any other disasters that required heavy lifting.
Also known as the "big hook," most wrecking cranes were steam-powered. The Washington Terminal Company wrecking crane No.500 was built by Industrial Works of Bay City, Michigan in 1913. The No.500 used large auxiliary wreckers to give the crane a stable base, so the crane could lift almost 120 tons. The No. 500's paired idler car is the No. 501. The No. 501 idler car was used to stabilize the crane's boom during transportation and haul other items necessary in maintenance of way work.