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OSL 762
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MP X105
MP X1064
SOO X3
SOO X173
SOO X81
CNW X263579
MILW 8670
MP 1208
MILW 30
WP B-63
MILW 918050
VULCAN 711

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Soo Line #X-81
Locomotive Crane, Orton & Steinbrenner, construction #1573, 1898
18-ton capacity coal fired steam crane Soo Line #X-81 was built for the city of Minneapolis about 1898 by Orton and Steinbrenner. Soo Line purchased it from the city in 1929. #X-81 was initially outfitted for pile driver service and assigned system wide duties. At a later date (presently unknown) it was transferred to North Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, as the shop crane and remained there until retired on January 1, 1984. At North Fond du Lac, it assisted in a long-term building program of new steel box cars, putting car sides together to replace the Soo's aging fleet of wooden outside braced box cars. While quite old and cantankerous, shop personnel nicknamed it "Old Maude." In the late 1970's, when the Soo Line announced the planned diesel conversion of the #X-81, a protest from shop personnel kept it in steam. In 1984, #X-81 was purchased from the Soo Line by a group of preservation minded Soo employees and crane enthusiasts who and in turn donated it to Mid-Continent. It arrived at the museum site in May 1984. #X-81 is operable with minor boiler work and is preserved in the lettering scheme it carried for the major portion of its life while on the Soo Line.
#X-81 at Quartzite Lake, August 8, 2001.