Ransomes & Rapier W1800

Estevan, Saskatchewan, Canada

Ransomes & Rapier Ltd., W1800, named “Shand”

Now sitting, and partially dismantled, south of Estevan SK.

Last Owner- Estevan Coal Corporation

Built in Ipswich, Suffolk, England, by Ransomes and Rapier Ltd.

In Dec 1988, Busyrus Europe Ltd., a British Subsidiary of Busyrus-Erie Holdings Inc. of South Milwaukee, USA,
Bought the Walking Dragline Manufacturing portion of this company out, for 1 million pounds.

This machine would have been built, ca 1961

In 1961 this Model was the World's Largest Dragline.

They built the same model near Edmonton, Alberta, in Apr 1961, for Alberta Coal Co. at Wabamun.
It had a 33 cu yd Bucket, 215 ft boom.
the Walking Shoes were 55 ft long, and 9 ft. 6“ wide.
It “Walked” in 7ft, 7” strides.
Each “Shoe” weighed 58 tons.
It used the Cameron and Heath walking gear.
It moved at 0.11 mph
4 -225 hp electric motors used just for the walking motion.

Some had 40 yd buckets with 250 ft boom.

Basic boom was 208 ft.
2 extensions could be added to it.
Short one for 257 ft boom, and a 40 cu yd bucket. (91 ton load)
Longer one for 282 ft boom, and a 30 cu yd bucket. (65 ton load)

Circular Turntable base.
Slew rack was 32 ft round, Roller path was 58 ft in diameter.
It weighed 284 tons.
Centre post was 6ft 3“ high.

They weighed roughly 1,790 tons without the bucket.

It was designed in sections, that could be taken apart if the machine had to be moved.

Inside the house was a 16 ton travelling crane, used to replace motors etc.

Had 2 duplicate operating control cabins, one on each side.

All photos above Courtesy, and Copyright of Jan Normandale.

Photos and info below submitted July 26, 2019 by Mr.Willie Cowie, Corby, United Kingdom.

Maesgwyn Cap Mine, Wales, built in 1961

Roxby Mine, Scarborough England, built in 1962
Correction below-
You have Scarborough as the location for the W1800 Dragline in one of your pages, this is wrong. The dragline shown was built at Roxby then walked to Winterton iron stone mines at Scunthorpe. I was responsible for the electrical maintenance of this giant machine as well as two smaller R&R W600's Our W1800 had a jib length of 303 feet and had a maximum head weight of 50 tons, my mate was responsible for finally lowering the jib in 1983, then we believe it was taken to bits and moved in crates to Immingham dock. We don't know what happened to it after that. It had 2 MG sets both driven by two 1000 horse power, 6.6 kv a.c. synchronous motors. Four hoist, four drag and two motors for slewing all d.c.
Correction and Info above courtesy Tom Wislocki Nov 1, 2021

No 81, W1800 Dragline Great Oakley Quarry, Corby, England, built in 1963

Italian W1800 Potenza Italy, Stewart Lloyds Review, built in 1964, which was moved to Estevan area ca 1974

From Mr. Cowie “There is a small write up in this months Classic Plant & Machinery magazine about the W1800 machine at Estevan, they said it came from Potenza, Italy around 1974 so I thought you might like to see it when it was new in 1964. Ransomes & Rapier of Ipswich, UK only made 4 of the W1800 draglines before the company folded, I`ve sent you photos of the other 3 that they built. The colour one at Corby was dismantled and shipped to the USA in 1980 to work in the open cast coalfields of Pennsylvania if you can shed any more light on that one I would be very grateful.” Anyone know any thing of that one can let me know.
Note- If any of the above 4 pictures above are still copyright, please let me know and they will be credited appropriately, or removed at your request.


  • Last modified: 2021/11/02 14:41
  • by dlgent