Author Topic: Velocipede  (Read 1273 times)

Russ Nelson

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Velocipede
« on: October 26, 2019, 05:04:55 AM »
We need a velocipede. It's definitely period, it would be useful for signal maintenance &etc. I know somebody who made a standard gauge one. Wouldn't be hard to adapt the design to 2'. All I would need to make one is three steel wheels.

The only difficulty would be dispatching it. Maybe it only operates when no powered equipment is out?

Mike Fox

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Re: Velocipede
« Reply #1 on: October 26, 2019, 09:25:30 AM »
It would be no different than when a hand car or any other non scheduled train is run. Either need a dispatcher or have signed up as self dispatch (if so qualified) to have control of the railroad so it can be run.

If I remember correctly, one of our members has one that he is either restoring or building. A milti-gauge version. He was looking for wheels the last I knew.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2019, 01:17:58 AM by Mike Fox »
Mike
Doing way too much to list...

Bill Baskerville

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Re: Velocipede
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2019, 12:17:53 PM »
A lot of the wooden parts to make a velocipede were in Alices attic
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Allan Fisher

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Re: Velocipede
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2019, 04:02:48 PM »
There is a picture of Harry Percival riding a velocipede at Sheepscot about 20 years ago. Was it ours or a loaner from a member?
Allan Fisher

Graham Buxton

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Re: Velocipede
« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2019, 11:23:13 AM »
This picture is in the WW&F Gift Shop, available as a refrigerator magnet:



See: http://giftshop.wwfry.org/
The photo credit reads "Photo by Bob Cavenaugh", but there is no info there as to the ownership of the velocipede itself.
Graham

Marcel Levesque

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Re: Velocipede
« Reply #5 on: October 27, 2019, 04:49:45 PM »
Yes, the photo was taken by Bob Cavenaugh and the velo belongs to fellow museum member Bruce Wilson.  It is an original Sheffield #1 and if memory serves was originally from the B&M.  Bruce still owns the velo and is in storage.  Bruce did bring it along to the museum on a few occasions to try in out.  I did not run very well because it needed alot of work.  Also the conversion from standard to narrow gauge was not very well done.  The biggest issue with narrowing up a velo is counterbalance.  The closer the outrigger wheel to the bike it is much harder to keep it from tipping over.  This problem is also compounded if is is a velo #2.  Usually a metal counter weight is necessary to offset the leverage/balance loss due to the shorter outrigger arm.  I have seen some modifiers use larger diameter, full steel wheels instead of wooden spoked wheels along with a counter weight to help with this balance loss.  Yes there is a built velo body upstairs in the shop building and I believe it was built by Ben Campbell.  However there are still many missing metal pieces to it. The only two footer to use a velo was the SR&RL. I believe there is a photo of it in one of Bob Jones' Two Feet Between The Rails books. 

Philip Marshall

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Re: Velocipede
« Reply #6 on: October 27, 2019, 06:36:54 PM »
The Phillips Historical Society has an SR&RL velocipede, which it's interesting to note has not one but two wheels on the outrigger. This would appear to be consistent with Marcel's observation about the problem of weight and balance on narrow gauge. The 4-wheel design makes the car look like an "Irish mail" track car with one powered wheelset, but it really is a velocipede with powered wheels on one side only. ("Irish mail" cars appear to have been much more common on the Two-Footers, almost certainly for the reasons above, and were used by the WW&F as well as the B&SR. One of the photos of the Whitefield section house has a guy on one.)
« Last Edit: October 27, 2019, 06:48:30 PM by Philip Marshall »

Carl G. Soderstrom

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Re: Velocipede
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2019, 06:55:45 PM »
We if not a Velocipede why not this:

https://www.discoverlivesteam.com/discoverforsale/forsale/9_Weith/index.htm

There are a lot of ingenious Yankees out there that could build one.
PVC pipe for wheels? 

Allan Fisher

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Re: Velocipede
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2019, 03:22:45 AM »
Last year we rebuilt a standard gauge Sheffield at the Western Railway - cost was $1500 plus 240 volunteer man hours - but we only had to replace some wheels and the seat.

SO - if you want one for the museum, pony up the funds and schedule yourself up in Alna for 8 to 10 weekends to get it built.
Allan Fisher

Stephen Piwowarski

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Re: Velocipede
« Reply #9 on: October 29, 2019, 12:45:41 AM »
Hi Russ,

The body of a velocipede- not unlike the Sandy River one pictured above, and nearly identical to the one Harry is riding is in the old wood shop upstairs in the car shop. I am not sure when it was built or who built it, but the project has been languishing for many years.

A couple of years ago some of our younger members took an interest in it- and I am certain they would still be interested in helping if someone were willing to champion the project.

There are many mechanical parts too, but I believe some things would need to be made. I am not sure how complete/incomplete the 'kit' is at this time.

Steve

Philip Marshall

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Re: Velocipede
« Reply #10 on: October 29, 2019, 01:05:36 AM »
Remarkably, there are currently no fewer than 5 velocipedes advertised for sale on the Ozark Mountain Railcar site. Prices range from $6000 to $7500. It appears to be the machine of the moment.
« Last Edit: October 29, 2019, 01:07:52 AM by Philip Marshall »

Wayne Laepple

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Re: Velocipede
« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2019, 12:34:28 AM »
I have seen a standard-gauge version of the SR&RL car. Cars of this type, as well as the more common hand car, were referred to back in the day as "lever cars."

Roger Cole

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Re: Velocipede
« Reply #12 on: November 04, 2019, 07:51:32 PM »
I found this website on velocipedes.  There are several plans available for download.  They obviously would need to be adapted to two-foot gauge.

http://railvelocipedes.org/

Bill Baskerville

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Re: Velocipede
« Reply #13 on: November 04, 2019, 08:15:06 PM »
The Brits are very active in this area.  I have been on a newsletter group for several years.  Their news letter is full of history, how to's, sources, and the sometimes comical meets they hold.  Next time I receive on I will try and remember to put the link up here.
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Benjamin Campbell

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Re: Velocipede
« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2019, 06:05:09 PM »
I have a velocipede down here in MA which I brought to the museum several times in it's early years. I constructed a two foot gauge outrigger arm by bending two pieces of flat steel bar stock into 'S' shapes with several pieces of wood blocking between. Bruce Wilson loved riding it which inspired him to purchase the one shown in this thread. It did have a tendency to be tippy resulting in Bruce toppling over on my velo (luckily it was into a snow bank). This should be easy to remedy by placing a counter weight out by the outrigger wheel.

I started constructing the two man velocipede now in the attic of the museum after seeing a photograph of one along the WW&F. It later turned out to be a Maine Central car at the WW&FRy/MCRR diamond which dampened my ambitions slightly as did the expense/difficulty of obtaining gears and particularly wheels. It was under foot in my folks basements hence its gifting to the museum. Several members have contemplated completing it but have run into the same issue with wheels and gears. It really makes more sense to purchase an existing car in working or restorable condition.

There is photographic evidence of three wheel self propelled velocipedes being used on the SR&RLRR but no such evidence that one was ever in use on the WW&F (there was at least one four wheel car on which the operator sat pulling and pushing a velocipede style lever) That said - they are fun and easy to use cars to use which could have many uses on the line as well as being captivating to the visiting public.

There is currently one for sale on Ebay. It is in Texas and can be bought for 1550 unless bid higher. It appears to be well weathered so the condition of the wheels could be a factor. Good wheels free of excessive wear and/or pitting are imperative as they are the only component which are very difficult to procure. The largest wheel is larger than that used on motor cars and fabricated from much lighter steel. The earliest velocipedes used cast rims which would actually be easier to fabricate than the spun or drop forged ones used on later models.
« Last Edit: November 11, 2019, 06:40:28 PM by Benjamin Campbell »