Leona Crane


Leona Crane

La Felguera, Llangréu

The cranes on rails are very curious elements. They can be found both in public railways (where they were used mainly in the intervention trains for accidents) or in industrial railways, in this case to move parts, load wagons, etc.

Among the latter type, there is a piece that belonged to Duro Felguera and, due to the lack of an official name, it was always known by the nickname "Leona". We know absolutely nothing about its origins, except that it may have been built in the 1920s, although its first known graphic evidence dates from 1943.

It was assembled on a frame with two axles and a wide gauge, which had a rotating platform on which the vertical boiler and the gears that allowed its operation were placed. All of this was protected by an enclosed metal cabin, which may have been modified during its active life. The lattice boom was fixed and had a movable hook at its end. It was a self-propelled vehicle and also had anchorages to fix it to the track when in use. It weighed 27 tonnes.

It was used for transferring parts within the La Felguera factory and had a smaller sister of similar structure known as "Pantera". Both were in operation in 1965 and the "Leona" continued in use until the 1970s, already in ENSIDESA's times. After the dismantling of the plant of La Felguera, it was left stranded in the Valnalón business park along with the last steam locomotives preserved there.

Finally, it was given to the Iron and Steel Museum and restored, including the striking yellow paint that it wore during its last stage. It is currently located inside the old Metalsa warehouses in La Felguera, but not yet exhibited to the public.

Guillermo Bas Ordóñez