FFf Eclectic Red Barn: Railroad Motorcars

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Railroad Motorcars

What is that “thing” on your trailer? 
Railroad Motor Cars
That was my question about these cute little cars that were everywhere in town.
Railroad Motor Cars

They are "Railroad Motorcar", sometimes called a “Speeder”. Smaller models, like this one, were used routinely to inspect the many miles of track for defects. Larger versions would carry half a dozen workers and pull a few trailers loaded with spikes and tools, to handle track maintenance. 

Use of motorcars has been phased out over the past couple decades in favor of Hy-Rail vehicles, which are standard road vehicles with retractable guide wheels that can operate on road or rail. Although these “speeders” have a top speed of only about 30 m.p.h., they were so nicknamed because compared to the manually powered pump cars they replaced, they were much faster.

My husband and I had a great time looking at all the different railroad motorcars. They had just completed a 104 mile run. We talked to a couple of  guys and they told us all about their cars and the history.
Railroad Motor Cars Railroad Motor Cars 
This one was completely enclosed. They said these were nice when the weather is cool or rainy.
Railroad Motor Cars
Railroad Motor Cars
This one is open and is from 1952. 

They even have their own web site. You can read more about them here: http://www.narcoa.org/
NARCOA stands for the North American Railcar Operators Association.

Here are some pictures from their web site showing the motorcars on a run.
Railroad Motor Cars

Railroad Motor Cars
My husband is a hugh railroad buff. He is even thinking he would like to do this when he retires. It would be a great way to see the country side from rails. Considering that they have excursions in almost every state and providence in North America, what great fun it would be. Who knows?

The post Railroad Motorcars first appeared on Eclectic Red Barn.

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