Calling in the “Big Hook” A Bangor and Aroostook Wrecker from William Dumond

The Wrecker, or railroad wreck crane/derrick was once a common part of a railroad’s Maintenance of Way fleet in North America. They we’re kept at the ready in railroad yards in a wreck train waiting for the call to service any time the railroad had a derailment or wreck needing cleaned up. Today most railroads subcontract wreck cleanup to outside companies, but a few railroads still hang on to a wrecker or two for emergencies, and many vintage wreckers can be found in railroad museums today. The wrecker is a fascinating machine to model, even sitting idle in a yard it can provide much interest to any one’s model railroad.

Today we’re taking a look at an awesome build of the Bangor and Aroostook’s X127 Wrecker from William Dumond.

Bangor and Aroostook Wrecker from William Dumond

Packed up and ready for the next call to service. William’s model has all the right details.

The real BAR X127 is a 150 ton capacity diesel wrecker,  C/N 11108, built by Industrial Brownhoist in 1941 for the US Navy in Portsmouth, NH. The wrecker was then sold to the Bangor & Aroostook RR. It was next sold to the Montreal, Maine & Atlantic RY in 2003 and remained in service for that railroad until 2013 when that RR went into bankruptcy. Today X127 is owned by the Central Maine & Québec Railway and is stored at their Derby shops.

X127 in it’s BAR color scheme.
X127 repainted for the CM&Q Ry.

William’s model of BAR X127 is one of the nicest wreckers I’ve seen in LEGO recently. It’s a very clean build, everything fit’s together seamlessly and natural. The model has all the right details in all the right spots to give it real depth of authenticity. The string riding is expertly done and can be operated by removing a side plate and using a key to turn the winch drums.

Set up and ready for the next hook.

The model looks good packed up for transport, and set up for work. One of my favorite parts is the crane boom. William has done an excellent job rendering the shape in LEGO. It looks beefy enough to do some real work, but still mimics the tappers of the steel beams well.

The colors make this wrecker stand out.

Most railroad wreckers we’re painted in simple, utilitarian paint schemes. Often basic black with the RR logo on the sides was the preferred MOW (Maintenance of Way) look. The Bangor & Aroostook decided to give their wrecker a little more personality. The Black is accented by gray and red bands, with white pin striping. It’s a great look and William has done an excellent job recreating it in LEGO.

The boom tender is as nice looking as the wrecker.

No wrecker is complete without a boom tender. The boom tender serves dual roles. The wrecker’s crane boom overhangs it’s base quite a bit. When the wrecker is in transport to the work site, the tender is used as a spacer between the wrecker and the next car in the train so that the wrecker’s boom doesn’t come into contact with any other train car.  The boom tender also serves as a tool car, carrying  tools and equipment needed by the wrecker when it’s on the job.William has once again has done an excellent job recreating the boom tender used with X127.

BAR X127’s boom tender.

From the chains, to the storage boxes, to the depressed center perfect for carrying the hooks and even a clamshell bucket. All the details are there. It’s a perfect mate to the awesome wrecker.

I’m a big fan of William’s model. It has great detail, nice coloring, and is a superb LEGO representation of the real BAR X127 Wrecker. But it’s not the first model from William that’s caught my attention. Head on over to his Flickr Gallery and check out his other creations.

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