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Copyright 1996-2004
Kevin E. Musser

Copper Range Steam Shovel X-2

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In 1906 the Copper Range Railroad purchased a Steam Shovel from the American Locomotive Co. for $9,302. It was numbered X-2 and that was about all I knew about it. I had only found one photo of it (above on the left superimposed into the article title) which didn't exactly show the finer points of this strange contraption. That was until I came across an article in the November 1946 issue of "The Model Craftsman".

The article is unsigned except for the L. Austin marking on the plans (see below). Not sure who Mr. L. Austin was but happy that he stopped by the Houghton yard in 1946 and took down these notes and drew these plans.

Mr. Austin relates:

"This railroad steam shovel is termed as Robinson's Patent, patented in 1902, and as job #40422 of the Richmond Works of American Locomotive Co., built in September of 1906. The presence of rust on the steel parts and dry-rot of the wooden parts show that it has not been used in years, yet all this does not keep it from being a pleasing sight as it sites on a side track outside the Houghton Yards of the Copper Range Railroad Co."

Later on in the article:

"According to an old brakeman, the unit directly in front of the cab is some form of jack assembly. He did not know how it was used, but it consists of an H column across the width of the car and welded to the ends are castings to which the two upright side members are pivoted. On top of these are three-inch threaded holes for jack screws."

"The prototype of this steam shovel is painted entirely black and white lettering."

The balance of the article is how to construct this shovel using old watch parts, paperclips and Popsicle sticks, well almost as there was not much around in the 40's in the way of parts to work from. There was not a photo of the completed model by Mr. Austin, too bad.




CRRR X-2 Shovel Plans from "The Model Craftsman" November 1946
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Click here for an enlarged image of these plans.

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