History & Crane Lifts: Relocating an Antique Train Caboose in Kirkland, WA
- 350-ton crane and two truck trailers
Since 2015, an antique train caboose on Google’s Kirkland, WA, campus had simply been par for the course of their traditionally quirky offices. However, the campus also shares space with the Cross Kirkland Corridor — a 5.75-mile trail running through Kirkland along the area’s historic railroad tracks. Several years after the antique caboose’s original placement, Google decided to expand its office space and — with the burgeoning popularity of the corridor — move the caboose closer to the trail for public enjoyment.
Lifting and setting the 30,000-pound caboose and its two sets of wheels on salvaged tracks would require expert crane services, so the construction company heading up the remodel project contracted Omega Morgan’s Seattle crane services team.
PLANNING THE CRANE SERVICE SOLUTION
After reviewing the project outline, our crane team scheduled the move for August 17, 2021, and began developing a solution. Only 500 feet separated the caboose’s current location from its intended spot, but its antique condition would require particular consideration. Omega Morgan’s team met with the construction crew onsite twice before creating 3D lift plans demonstrating the pick and set. They determined that a 350-ton mobile crane and two trucks could manage the load effectively with a crew of a Crane Operator, Crane Oiler, Lift Director, Rigger, and four Drivers.
CRANE LIFT WITH PRECISION AND CARE
When the day arrived, our crew began by setting the 350-ton crane up in the first location to pick the caboose and both sets of wheels, called trucks. Our crew backed the first truck into location, complete with a stretch step deck trailer attached to safely transport the load. The already rigged caboose was lifted onto the truck and driven 500 feet away to the new location before the second truck, which would transport the caboose’s wheels, maneuvered into position. Another seamless lift later, the crew unrigged and sent it on. Only halfway complete, our crane team dismantled the mobile crane and reassembled it into position near the new location. Both sets of wheels were lifted and set into place first, followed carefully by the caboose. With extreme precision, the crew inspected the set to ensure its perfect alignment, and then removed the rigging. All in all, only eight hours had passed between our arrival and the job well done.
Our client was extremely pleased with the outcome and our timely execution. Omega Morgan’s crane crew enjoyed working with a piece of Pacific Northwest history and delivering the antique train to its new location with precision and care. The caboose is a new attraction along the trail, and may serve as a unique cafe for residents and visitors enjoying the Cross Kirkland Corridor.