Pile driving at bridge 81
Stratford-Okahukura line
Cowans Sheldon ten ton lift crane '226' engaged in
pile driving at bridge 81 between Matiere and Tuhua
on the Stratford-Okahukura line circa-1961.


This is the story of one man's descent into obsession ...

My late father was a steam crane driver in the early 1960s. Through Dad I have always been aware of railways and the steam cranes, but since he passed away I have become increasingly fascinated by these machines and their history.

From the results of my poking around on the net and in libraries, it seems that railway cranes have attracted little attention (and not just in NZ). So my aim is to publish something on this under-represented facet of our railway heritage - but books take time. So in the meantime, as I learn more about these cranes I will add further material here.

To clarify my interest, I am researching travelling railway cranes (i.e. not stationary goods cranes) of all types. Travelling cranes come under the classification "non-revenue rolling stock", which may be one reason for the lack of interest by other researchers. They don't make money, so not a lot is recorded about their day to day operation. Cranes are however a necessary piece of railway equipment, so I'd like to change that record. In particular I am interested in the steam cranes, but I am also collecting information on the various other types.

This website is a way of trying to contact other people who have an interest in, or have been involved with travelling cranes used by New Zealand Railways to assist my research. So if you fit that description, please feel free to contact me at treweek@ cs.waikato.ac nz.

So what have I put together so far? The main pages of this site are:

The research page is the central page of the site - it has links to my progress, my sources and my results. The crane lists lead to details on individual cranes.

I have several other obsessions - NZ aviation history, and Family History .