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Hornsby Steam Chain Crawler Merged

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Malcolm Young

New member
Hornsby Chain Tractor

A unique 4" scale model of this engine, the prototype of which worked in the Yukon, is for sale on ebay UK:

170355463702

I have seen this model and spoken to the builder of it and only wish that I could afford to bid for it!

Malc. :cool:
 

BakerMaker

Subscriber
Re: Hornsby Chain Tractor.

This model was featured in Old Glory #224. Personally, I couldn't part with a model like that if I had built it :confused:

Dick
 
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Re: Hornsby Chain Tractor.

Nice. The track frames, crankshaft and flywheel still exist from the original machine.I saw them at R.A.M. Not sure if they are still there.
 

Beth V

Moderator
Re: Hornsby Chain Tractor.

That would REALLY be a neat item to rally!:D

However, I'll keep what I have. It would be fun to see it come over here.

Beth:wave:
 

Mark Thompson

New member
Re: Hornsby Chain Tractor.

Here is a picture of the real thing.

Both are pretty cool to look at and it would certainly be a pleasure to own the real thing or the model.

The downside with the model crawler being so small...

If the operator would ever make an error going over rough ground, the model wouldn't hesitate to buck you straight over the boiler. I don't think my back can take much more of that.

-Mark Thompson
 

Attachments

Re: Hornsby Chain Tractor.

In that photo there is no top idler. I was told by one of the men that was very instrumental in getting the remains of it to R.A.M that the top idler was added later.
 

J Dayman

Subscriber
Re: Hornsby Chain Tractor.

Ive read several accounts in English model mags that it is a handful to control on rough ground, and has a most peculiar ride. Very cool model though, and well made by the look of it.

The builder is one of the designers/CNC programmers from the Modleworks firm that recently went under in England. My understanding is that he and another chap are undertaking to start a firm and continue supplying parts and kits of some Modleworks models, which is admirable.

Anybody got 20,000 UK pounds to start bids?

(over $32,000 US)
 

David

Subscriber
Re: Hornsby Chain Tractor.

"Anybody got 20,000 UK pounds to start bids?

(over $32,000 US)"



There is a reserve price on this auction, and I expect it will take a sight more than $32,000.00 for someone to take this model home with them.

David
 

Axtion Jim S

Subscriber
Re: Hornsby Chain Tractor.

Interesting, Yesterday it was here and today it`s gone. I`m pleased with self that I did make all copies of what was available. I also did a land line to Geo Hoffman to go to the ebay site and have a look at it. Goe still has the orriginal under carriage assembly locked away at his place in Surrey B.C. Canada, for safe keeping.I am pleased to see that it has been pulled from ebay,My personal feelings are that it should remain in England and the orriginal stay here to be restored so they can compliment each other.:shrug:

Jim
 
Re: Hornsby Chain Tractor.

I had a good look at the chassis for it. George was there at R.A.M. talking to everyone about it. He had quite a bit of info on it. I understand it went originally to Dawson City to haul coal. The machine had some very innovative things on it, such as a winch mechanism to pull itself or the coal wagons up the hills.
 

Malcolm Young

New member
Re: Hornsby Chain Tractor.

Apparently it was pulled from ebay because it broke one of their rules :shrug:. It is being relisted this evening at about 22.00 GMT.

Malc. :cool:
 
Re: Hornsby Chain Tractor.

Quote: I had a good look at the chassis for it. George was there at R.A.M. talking to everyone about it. He had quite a bit of info on it. I understand it went originally to Dawson City to haul coal. The machine had some very innovative things on it, such as a winch mechanism to pull itself or the coal wagons up the hills.

-----------------------------------------------------

Hi all. I haven't been keeping up with what has happened to the bones of the Hornsby steam crawler that were on display at a little town ( I can't remember the name of it now but I did go there) right up the top of Vancouver Island.

It sounds like it has been shifted? What is RAM? Is it privately owned now? Is there any intention for it to be restored/recreated??

I hope it stays in Canada and is preserved properly. It has quite a story to tell.

Ordered in 1909 by the Northern Light, Power and Coal Co. to haul coal in the Yukon. The order was placed with the Company Richard Hornsby and Sons, Grantham England. This was after Hornsby had already developed the internal combustion crawler (as seen on the awesome old film footage on the link given in an above post) and the NLPC Co had heard of this development. This company in the Yukon wanted to haul coal so a steam powered crawler was what they wanted. However Hornsby we quite smart and could see i.c. was going to supersede steam and thus stopped building steam engines in 1904. Hornsby employed William Foster and Co. of Lincoln, a nearby firm (and competitor in the steam days) to build the boiler/engine unit and Hornsby built the complicated track gear and put it together.

How long the wonderful contraption worked for in the Yukon I'm not sure, but it ended it's days log hauling on the north of Vancouver Island. There is a fair distance between the Yukon and Van Is as well, so it certainly did get about. The boiler was taken off the machine to be used separately and there was talk that it could have been buried where last used. It is pretty wild country up there though so might be hard to find. (I hiked into Cape Scott and camped on the beach. A mate and I were the only one's up there, and witnessed a pod of Killer Whales chasing seals.)

The frame and tracks unit was thoughtfully saved by someone and put on display under a roof on the edge of this little town.

It is extremely historic, and quite amazing that anything has survived at all! I hope you patriotic Canadians do something worthwhile with this amazing relic.

Best regards,
Andrew Gibb.

An Australian commenting on an English built machine in Canada! The steam world really is international!
 
Re: Hornsby Chain Tractor.

R.A.M - is Reynolds Alberta Museum. Named after Stan Reynolds. I think it would be very difficult to find a man anywhere who collected as many artifacts as him, not just tractors and steamers but just about everything.
When the remains of this machine were at R.A.M. Some men thought that there might be a wheeled type steamer somewhere that the boiler and engine would be very close to what was on it originally.
 
Re: Hornsby Chain Tractor.

Wayne:wave: I'm pretty sure that it was moved to BC to be worked on. Dave F. told me that last year at the harvest festival, but Randy would have all the information on its present location.
 

Robt.

Subscriber
Re: Hornsby Chain Tractor.

If we still had the BC Transportation Museum, that would be an ideal place for it, but of course we don't!:(

I find it a little hard to believe that the boiler would get scrapped and the heavier undercarriage etc. survive, but various scrap outfits have prowled up and down the BC coast over the years, usually with barges etc., pulling off whatever they could reach from the beach, so to speak.

On the other hand, the boiler might have been taken somewhere for reuse and then scrapped later.

I assume the owner of the remains has done the research, and if I had to guess I'd say they probably know where the boiler is, or went. I believe the boiler was on the tractor as late as the mid 50s, IRRC what I've read.
 

Randy Kvill

Subscriber
Re: Hornsby Chain Tractor.

The tractor was returned to its home on Vancouver Island where it was last used and is preserved by the local historical group. I do not know if it will or can ever be restored...what is left is in very rusty condition and may not be safe to use in an operating environment again. However...there is enough to understand its construction and if someone can build a full-sized Holt, maybe someone might take on a project like that to replicate this one...any takers?

Randy
 

Robt.

Subscriber
Re: Hornsby Chain Tractor.

http://hornsbycrawler.org/index.php/Main/History

Click on the "Gallery" links in the upper left corner for more recent photos etc.

Looks highly restorable to me. Hopefully those piles of dirt and scale have been power-washed out of all the nooks and crannies, so moisture doesn't get held in them and accelerate the rust.

From the background in photos I've seen and the contact phone numbers being 604 area code, I assume the tractor is somewhere in the Vancouver/Fraser Valley area?
 
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