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Topics - Ted Miles

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Other Narrow Gauge / Carter Brothers Trucks
« on: December 07, 2008, 07:05:18 PM »

The Carter Brothers of Newark, California (outside San Francisco) were builders of 3 ft narrow gauge freight, logging and passenger equipment. The Society for the Preservation of Carter Brothers Resources was organized several years ago to preserve their history and equipment (

The Carters built three types of swing motion freight car trucks. 8 tons, 10 tons and 15 tons. These last were later and as a result are fairly common. But until recently there were no known examples of the ten ton type in existance.

Thanks to a discovery of a pair in the Santa Cruz mountains on the right of way of an abandoned logging line the missing parts could be measured and patterns made and cast.

The web site has a long pictorial essay on how the pair of trucks were built in 2003. There will be more to come as other cars in the collection need trucks and more grants are being sought.

The box car that they are now under is the South Pacific Coast #472 (later Southern Pacific) The most successful narrow gauge line in California. The car had been built back in 1880 for the Oregonian Railroad at Dundee, Oregon. It last ran on the Owens Valley Line of the SP until 1960.

Their collection contains one passenger car, two caboose combines, several box cars, one flat car and a horse car. And of course two horses for motive power. Plus the occasional visiting narrow gauge steam locomotive.

Have a look at their site; I think you will find a lot of interest.

Ted Miles

Today the Society operates the only horse drawn freight line in the country. and the are now building their first car barn to protect their historic cars 

Update in 2017: they had to retire thie horses, but now use a small diesel. Restoration of a NWP baggage caboose is under way.

Ted Miles

Other Narrow Gauge / Western Narrow Gauge
« on: September 17, 2008, 12:50:12 AM »
My local narrow gauge museum in Fremont, CA is The Society for the Preservation of Carter Railroad Resources. The Carter Brothers built whole railroads; freight cars, passenger cars and other equipment between about 1874 and 1892.

Now the California State Railroad Museum has been house cleaning because they lost a large piece of their indoor storage.

They have given equipment to the Carter Brothers Society from the North Pacific Coast Railroad, a forerunner of the northwestern Pacific RR going north from San Francisco to Eureka.

They had a narrow gauge line going to Point Reyes until about 1930. The NWP 5511 is a baggage caboose that may have been built by the Carters and its history is being researched as we read this.

The State Museum had it restored back in 1969; but as far as I know it has never been on display. the Society plans to redo some of the work as the car's details were not very well understood at the time.

For pictures i suggest a visit to the Carter Brothers web site. The Society has re-created a portion of the Centerville Branch of the South Pacific Coast RR which was pulled by horses for its entire existance between 1882 and 1909.

I walked through the caboose for the first time a couple of weeks ago and it was a long time coming! But I am glad to have had a chance to do it at long last!

Ted Miles

Museum Discussion / Brakes on Passenger Cars
« on: September 17, 2008, 12:35:02 AM »

Can you give me an update on the brake project for the passenger cars at the museum. Especially the W&Q #3.

Last I heard there were parts being sent to a foundry to be duplicated one or more times.

Also, I wonder if the two newer passenger cars are going to be given any brakes?

Ted Miles

Bridgton & Saco River Railway / Edgar Meade books
« on: August 10, 2008, 12:57:20 PM »

I just got the two picture books he wrote on the B&SR in 1985 and 1987. They have some great pictures and the track plans by themselves are worth the price of admission.

They do not have the character of Busted and Still Running; but they are picture books rather than text books.

I hope everybody had fun at the picnic!

Ted Miles

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