Possible next project, any railroad guys out there ???

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dobro1956
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Possible next project, any railroad guys out there ???

Post by dobro1956 » Thu Sep 12, 2019 11:51 pm

Im getting close to the end of the speedster project. So Im looking at "Next" projects ... I have this really neat set of railroad wheels and a picture. I think that is plenty enough to start a project with. :) Ive started with less .......:)

I would like to copy the picture and build the railcar. We have a defunct railroad in this area of Arkansas that I have been collecting items that pertain to that railroad line. I would like to build it as close to the photo as possible and then paint the words "Missouri and North Arkansas" on the canvas side curtains. The Missouri and North Arkansas (M&NA) should not be confused with the Missouri and Northern Arkansas (also M&NA). The Missouri and Northern Arkansas is still in operation as a freight line and tourist line. The one Im interested in ran from Helena Arkansas to Joplin Missouri. They were in business during the model T era, so a model T rail car would be appropriate. I would also like to find out what gauge the Missouri and North Arkansas rail spacing was. So far I have found nothing listing the gauge.

Any help trying to figure out details of how the framework may have been built and also what is going on with what appears to be a lady passenger in the "glare" and what appears to be a sheet metal trough near her used for ???? Also In not sure if the gas tank mounted beside the engine is used as a gas tank or something else .... ???? I probably will not make it a running car, but will get all the pieces and parts to make it look complete and in a "could run with a little work" appearance.
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.jpg
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.JPG

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Mark Gregush
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Re: Possible next project, any railroad guys out there ???

Post by Mark Gregush » Fri Sep 13, 2019 12:08 am

I know the voices aren't real but damn they have some good ideas! :roll:

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Re: Possible next project, any railroad guys out there ???

Post by mtntee20 » Fri Sep 13, 2019 7:41 am

Donnie,

That appears to be a speeder or track maintenance gang car. They would have taken an old T, used the frame, drive train, and front end to make the car. Most everything else would have been whatever they decided to use. From behind the cowl/windshield most likely would have been a flat wood deck for hauling tools and materials. Maybe would have had only one seat; the drivers seat. That way there would have been more room for tools and supplies. The rear wheels might have been adapted to the original axle or may have been chain driven on a wider straight axle with a sprocket on it. There would have been no steering. The original T frame might have been attached or built into a wooden frame for the rail wheels. The car would have been left on the track at a siding or man handled off of the track. I didn't see any "wheel barrel handles" on the front so I expect they left it on the rails due to the weight. Most short lines didn't have too many sidings for the gangs to "escape" on, so the speeders would have to be man handled off the main line when a train was scheduled to run by.

As for the items in the glare, they may have been side curtains for foul weather. The sheet metal might be for adding ballast along the outside of the track. A load of ballast could have been loaded on the bed, then distributed along the ties via the sheet metal chute. Just a wild guess based on what I think the car was used for. The tank, next to the hood, was most likely a fuel tank. Easy to access and out of the way, not taking up room in the "cargo" area.

Track inspection vehicles were often much nicer since the inspectors were often senior employees and warranted much nicer transportation.

Good Luck with your project.

Terry

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Re: Possible next project, any railroad guys out there ???

Post by Charlie B in N.J. » Fri Sep 13, 2019 9:31 am

You might want to watch the episode of Full Custom Garage where Ian Roussel builds such a vehicle out of a Model A I believe it was. He came up with a very novel way of using the existing rear axle by making wheel adapters. Too long to explain here but it sure is easier than modifying the axle housing & axles. Check it out. Probably on You Tube.
Forget everything you thought you knew.

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Re: Possible next project, any railroad guys out there ???

Post by Mark Gregush » Fri Sep 13, 2019 10:03 am

I know the voices aren't real but damn they have some good ideas! :roll:

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Re: Possible next project, any railroad guys out there ???

Post by mtntee20 » Fri Sep 13, 2019 10:06 pm

Donnie,

Here are a couple more for you to peruse.
cute.jpg
model_t_big.jpg
I have some photos of a Model T powered tourist attraction transport as well. Let me know if you would like to see that one.

Cheers,
Terry


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Re: Possible next project, any railroad guys out there ???

Post by yukonjack » Sat Sep 14, 2019 8:41 am

There was an authentic one located in the western US advertised here for sale a year or so ago; I don't recall if the photos were uploaded here or craigslist. Photos would be gone from both sites by now, but maybe someone downloaded them and can repost some? I remember an interesting feature that a railroad machinist added when the railcar was built; as I recall the rear axle had a Ford factory housing, with internals modified so that it had a forward and reverse, so it would back up in high gear.

Here's another railcar that runs on the Wiscassett, Waterville, and Farmington, a museum operation that runs on a reconstructed portion of the two foot gauge railroad of the same name in Alna, Maine:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fz_a0IF-7b4
This one reverses using a built-in turntable...


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Re: Possible next project, any railroad guys out there ???

Post by FATMAN » Sat Sep 14, 2019 9:04 am

How about a original rail road baggage cart in fantastic original condition price right CNE Rail road very early, Bob
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Re: Possible next project, any railroad guys out there ???

Post by jbond » Sat Sep 14, 2019 2:58 pm

The Railroad museum in Ridgeway Co has a replica of a Model T inspection car. It is a replica of a railcar the RGS used in the early 1900's



RGS#1 - rear end installed.jpg
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Re: Possible next project, any railroad guys out there ???

Post by dobro1956 » Sat Sep 14, 2019 6:29 pm

Thanks for the pics and links. It seems like the wheels with the teardrop shaped holes are fairly common. I'm not sure how involved I will make the rail car. Its mostly just going to be a static display to go with my other railroad items. For now I'm just acquiring parts and info.

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Re: Possible next project, any railroad guys out there ???

Post by david_dewey » Sat Sep 14, 2019 11:58 pm

The two Brass radiator cars look to be on Kalamazoo wheels. The pair you show appear to be Fairmont. We built a '23 runabout into a railcar for the Portola RR museum, this is the only pic I could find when they were repairing it after someone ran a forklift through the pan trying to move it quickly.
We used the Fairmont axle for the front axle, bolting it to the T axle with the spindle arms cut off: this let us use the T front suspension, and the fairmont bearings. I believe we bolted it under the front axle, as the Fairmont wheels are a bit smaller than 30". For the rear axle we welded on some adapters to the wood wheel hubs; as I recall, it didn't require much addition to match the gauge; used the front axle dimensions to set the gauge.
The main problem is braking: metal on metal is not very conducive to fast stops. Most of the railcars built in the period used the Fairmont wood shoe brakes on all four wheels, we never worked that part out.
For taking the car off the tracks we figured out the center of gravity and installed a hand-cranked jack at that point--you don't need much road clearance on railroad tracks, just be higher than the railhead so you can go over switch tracks and grade crossings. put the railcar on a road crossing or "speeder" set off, crank the jack up until you can balance the car above the rails, then turn it sideways to the rail, raise the jack and roll it away. The T is a bit too heavy to just add lifting levers like the Fairmont Railcars use. You can also use the jack to turn the car around if you center the jack base over a tie.
23 apart.JPG
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T'ake care,
David Dewey

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Re: Possible next project, any railroad guys out there ???

Post by A Whiteman » Sun Sep 15, 2019 3:47 am

Have a look in the gallery section: app.php/gallery/album/48/page/2?sk=n&sd=a
good luck!


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Re: Possible next project, any railroad guys out there ???

Post by wayne sheldon » Sun Sep 15, 2019 5:12 am

Pleased to see you posting here David D ! You mention the single jack under the middle of the rail car.
My dad grew up in cattle country near Elko Nevada. He knew quite a few railroad people, and several of his friends from school days went to work for the railroad. One of his friends was out on the main line way East of town doing some sort of maintenance along with another man. As was the normal part of the job, they had to keep a close watch on the time for when the trains ran through. In those days, trains were known to run over 80 mph across the long stretches in the middle of nowhere. They had run out there in a similar sort of rail car with the single jack under the center of the car. The jack was still hand operated in those days, and they had certain places where a side rail was placed at 90 degrees from the main line for the rail cars to be parked on. In an emergency, the rail car could be forced off the main line into the dirt, but that was highly frowned upon. There they are, in the middle of nowhere, something hangs up with their maintenance work, and the time is getting close. They finish quickly as they can, looking at their watches. Jump into the rail car and push it as fast as the little rail car can go! The get to the side-rail, sliding to a stop and begin jacking the rail car up. They can hear the high speed train approaching in the distance, turn the little car 90 degrees (by hand), push the rail car off to the side and step back only seconds ahead of the train.

My dad loved to tell that story! I probably heard him tell it fifty times at least.

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Re: Possible next project, any railroad guys out there ???

Post by Mark Gregush » Sun Sep 15, 2019 10:41 am

I know the voices aren't real but damn they have some good ideas! :roll:

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Re: Possible next project, any railroad guys out there ???

Post by jsaylor » Sun Sep 15, 2019 12:30 pm

Here is a video of #23 running down the tracks at the Portola Museum mentioned by David.
https://www.wplives.org/gallery/m23_rid ... video.html


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Re: Possible next project, any railroad guys out there ???

Post by LVRR2095 » Sun Sep 15, 2019 2:02 pm

The Wiscasset, Waterville and Farmington Railway Museum has a Model T track inspection car built by one of the volunteers.
It is an exact copy of one built by the Sandy River and Rangeley Lakes Railroad. The original is on display at the Owl’s Head Transportation Museum.
Both museums are located in the Mid-Coast region of Maine

Keith


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Re: Possible next project, any railroad guys out there ???

Post by LVRR2095 » Sun Sep 15, 2019 2:03 pm

Video of the WW&F Model T.
https://youtu.be/sXStr_zBf_A


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Re: Possible next project, any railroad guys out there ???

Post by Burger in Spokane » Sun Sep 15, 2019 2:48 pm

A guy with the Sumpter Valley Ry. also runs a T-based track service truck. Can't
remember if it is a TT or not.

Does the WP museum in Portola have track to run trains on ? Looks like their loop
is it (?).
More people are doing it today than ever before !

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Re: Possible next project, any railroad guys out there ???

Post by jsaylor » Sun Sep 15, 2019 7:28 pm

Yes they do. A nice 2-3 mile loop. They even have a program where you can pay $$ and learn to operate a locomotive over the loop..

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Re: Possible next project, any railroad guys out there ???

Post by kmatt » Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:38 pm

Here is another Model T railcar Donnie: A 1920-ish T roadster belonging to Sierra railroad at Jamestown California. It has a TV history as much of the rolling stock from Sierra railroad was used in TV shows like Green Acre's and Petticoat Junction.
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Re: Possible next project, any railroad guys out there ???

Post by hddennis » Sun Sep 15, 2019 8:47 pm

How about making one of these:

http://www.mtfca.com/discus/messages/59 ... 1468592667


Howard Dennis

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Re: Possible next project, any railroad guys out there ???

Post by dobro1956 » Mon Sep 16, 2019 12:42 am

Thanks for the links to the videos. I really liked the one about the Trinity line with the old model A. It says the video was taken in 1946. I wonder if WW2 was a driving factor to the line being in such poor shape. Our Missouri and North Arkansas line was not doing real well before WW2 but the line was not deemed necessary for war use and most rolling stock was moved to other lines to serve the war effort. When the war was over and the rolling stock came back wore out, and no real industry on our line, the Missouri North Arkansas never really recovered. Our line had other troubles not relating to the war but most feel the war is what finally set the demise of the line on its final downturn. The heyday of our line was the turn of the century to the 1920s. The only major sources of income for the M&NA was tourist traffic to the spa city of Eureka Springs Arkansas. and a wood barrel cooperage at Leslie Arkansas. When 1/2 of the cooperage burnt in the 1920s, the cooperage never rebuilt to its former size, because most of the virgin white oak timber was being depleted. With the loss of the cooperage as its major source of income the railroad only went down hill from then till it finally closed.

The wife and I are avid railroad folks. We will ride any railroad we can find when we go on vacation. There is very little remaining items that belonged to the M&NA. When the line was torn out, everything was scrapped. I have read the even the engines were scrapped. So Im hoping to build a railcar that "could have been" used during the late 20s 30s 40s era by the M&NA. Since there are no remaining sections of the line still in existence I will just have a static display.

I do not plan on restoring anything. It will look like an old relic. I have more model T parts than I will ever use or sell, so the T stuff is not an issue. I will use good enough parts that a person could get it running if they wanted too. Knowing that the wheels are probably Fairmont wheels really helps. That may explain why the seem so common on old rail cars. ?? The only other really important item I would like to know is what was the gauge of the M&NA. So far my research has found nothing stating the gauge. I know it is out there somewhere but Im still looking.

kmatt, Its funny that you brought up the railroad at Jamestown California. When I was in the 2nd 3rd and 4th grade we lived just outside of Jamestown, right beside the tracks. One of my earliest memories, is every year, we would sit outside at Christmas time and watch the "cannonball" go by. Every Christmas they would decorate it with Christmas lights and make a night time run. The "cannonball" was a fictional train for the show "Petitticoat Junction" But once a year they would decorate something to look like the "cannonball" and make a Christmas run. At least that is how it was explained to me in later years. Maybe that is why when I grew up I like old trains ... ?? :)

Thanks again for all the input......

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Re: Possible next project, any railroad guys out there ???

Post by david_dewey » Mon Sep 16, 2019 3:49 am

The Cannonball, when you saw it in action, was/is Sierra RR $3, that's why the memories and videos seem so familiar. The Sierra T motora is also a '23, as I recall, but they used the fairmont brakes. If you're not going to run yours, then brakes are a moot point!
Wayne, that's a neat story--but likely could be told by quite a few track crews. I had a friend here who was replacing rivets in the WP bridges north of Oroville, and he was supposed to have a few hours to do it--well, the dispatcher goofed, and sent a train while he was still working. Told me he stuck his pointed line=up wrench in the rivet holes and just held on while the train ran overhead, shaking the whole bridge.
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Re: Possible next project, any railroad guys out there ???

Post by wayne sheldon » Mon Sep 16, 2019 5:16 am

Thanks David D ! I always figured that sort of thing happened often working on the railroads. For my dad, it was special because this was a good friend of his.
Your telling of the fellow caught with the rivet out is a good one also.

I missed seeing this happen by minutes about thirty some years ago. I was working on a private cable system that was next to a rail line on the South end of San Jose. We heard the train go by, and some odd noises. Didn't really pay any attention to it. We were finishing up the job we were doing, loaded the truck and headed out. When we got to the intersection and red traffic light where the road crossed the tracks, I looked over and could see that the freight train had derailed! The emergency vehicles were showing up, and we figured there was nothing we could do to help, so just continued on to our next service call. In the paper the next day, it said that a track maintenance crew was working on the track when the train came along, but the track they were working on gave way under the train! Two homes in the neighboring community were effectively destroyed. It also told of a fellow napping in his easy chair when he heard the commotion ran straight to the front door. As he reached to open the door, he glanced over his shoulder and saw a rail flat car chasing him through his house! Photos in the paper showed a nearly undamaged roof sagging over where a few rooms of the house used to be!

Another "fortunately nobody was hurt!"

I sometimes do wonder what happened to the railroad crew afterwards?


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Re: Possible next project, any railroad guys out there ???

Post by babychadwick » Wed Oct 02, 2019 7:02 am

In Jamestorn, CA there is one. They ran a gear off the T rear end forward to a shortened wheelbase.
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