Recently I've been working to create an accurate 3D CAD model of the Timber Transfer crane, which used to stand in the Mt. Union yard of the East Broad Top RR. The Timber Transfer was torn down in 1978.

My data sources were:
- A drawing by Wm. J. Karl, dated 1973
- My own measurements of the remaining foundations
- Several photographs, especially pg. 78 of the Sept/Oct 1997 issue of Narrow Gauge and Short Line Gazette and pg. 33 of the book "Colorful East Broad Top" by Mallory Hope Ferrell.

To create the 3D CAD model, I first created a wireframe using Ashlar Vellum, then exported the wireframe as an IGES file. I then imported this wireframe into Rhinoceros, and converted the wireframes into surfaces. I then used Rhinoceros to render the following images.

When the 3D model is fully completed, I intend to post the Rhinoceros CAD file on this website, so that others may download it and create their own 3D renderings.

A free evaluation version of Rhinoceros can be downloaded at This can be used to view, rotate, scale and print the Timber Transfer CAD model.

Update - January 2003: After creating these renderings (June 2002), I came across several closeup photos of the prototype Timber Transfer crane. I now see that I have a few minor details to correct in my CAD file, so I will be making these changes before I continue on the remaining portions of the model. This effort continues...

An overall view of my partially-completed Timber Transfer CAD model. Portions not yet completed include the top structure, side control booth, and adjacent office/storage building.

Most of the dimensions from the Wm. J. Karl drawing checked precisely with my own measurements of the remaining foundation...with one exception - It looks to me that the east tower is a little too close to the east track. Unfortunately I did not get an east-to-west foundation measurement on my visit to the Mt. Union resolving this question will have to wait until my next visit (in August?).

A closeup of the base of the west tower. Photos of the remaining west tower foundations

A look at the upper portion of the west tower.

Looking down towards the west tower. Note that I need to correct the orientation of some of the angle brackets of the east tower.

All images are copyright 2002 by James A. Vliet. All Rights Reserved.