Author Topic: What are the SR&RL railcars based on?  (Read 31669 times)

Matthew Gustafson

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What are the SR&RL railcars based on?
« on: January 07, 2009, 07:21:35 PM »
Ive learned that the RGS actually made railcars out of automobile bodies on railroad wheels! Are the SR&RL railcar are based on automobile with railroad wheels attach to the body?  ??? ;) :)
« Last Edit: January 10, 2009, 08:22:40 PM by Matthew Gustafson »
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Steve Klare

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Re: What is the SR&RL railcar bodys based on?
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2009, 08:18:10 PM »
SR&RL was very good at converting motor vehicles for rail use. As a matter of fact the Phillips shops of the SR&RL did a standard gauge Bus conversion for the Maine Central which still exists today. I recently heard it also did some time on the little standard gauge industrial railway at Starbird Lumber in Strong in years after the SR&RL itself was gone..

A lot of the two foot gauge cars still exist as well, including a Model T track car, Model T Superintendent's inspection car and a REO railbus.

Here is a shot I got of the SR&RL track car at Boothbay Railway Village in 2004.

http://photos.nerail.org/showpic/?photo=2004080700225818992.jpg&order=byposter&page=1&key=srnumber9



Ira Schreiber

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Re: What is the SR&RL railcar bodys based on?
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2009, 08:20:51 PM »
NONE of the RGS Motors(Geese) were Fords.
They were a mix of Buick, Pierce Arrow, Chevrolet and what ever else was around the Ridgway shops.
Of the seven originally built, six remain and there is a replica of the seventh. Three of them are just 45 minutes from me at the Colorado railroad Museum.

Stewart "Start" Rhine

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Re: What is the SR&RL railcar bodies based on?
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2009, 01:14:39 PM »
Matt, the car body depended on the type of work the car was designed for.  The SR&RL used Model T and later, Model A Fords as the basis for their railcars.  The Superintendents Model T retained it's original open (soft top) touring body mounted on a heavier channel stock frame.  A tool box was added to the back.  The standard track crew cars had the Model T front with a wide open utility body.   This design allowed for seats and room in back for lighter tools.  The track crews usually took these cars out pulling a small railcar for track tools.  The SR&RL liked Model T's because of the Ford planetary transmission which included the service brake.  Also, there was no gas pedal because the spark advance and throttle were on the steering column.  This made the Model T an easy conversion to a two foot railcar.  Hand brakes were applied to the wheels during conversion.  The Phillips shop crew came up with a special rear axle design that allowed the cars to run as fast in reverse as they did going forward.  The only problem with extended backwards running was that the cars ran hot and the radiator would boil over.  The car had to be stopped to let the engine cool.  (Note: That's why the WW&F's Model T was built with it's own turntable)  The last SR&RL track car built was a standard open work body car  with the a Model A engine, transmission and front.  That car had a standard gear shift and clutch.  The car got beat up when the scrappers used it to pull flatcar loads of rail.  The car was sold and dismantled for it's Model A drive train.

« Last Edit: January 09, 2009, 01:38:26 PM by Stewart Rhine »

Steve Klare

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Re: What is the SR&RL railcar bodies based on?
« Reply #4 on: January 09, 2009, 01:39:34 PM »
I always thought the "A" was a "T" re-engined by the scrappers. Was this a new car built during operations?

I rode on the SR&RL model T track car at both Edaville and Phillips, and something struck me interesting about it.

Obviously they didn't need the steering wheel because the track takes care of all that, but they needed the column itself to mount the spark advance and throttle (as Stewart reminds me).

-So here you are: Mr. Motorman, sitting in a seat without belts of any kind with the butt end of a steering column pointed straight into your chest.

I guess the track workers could have "joined the birds" if they saw a crash coming, but Vose's "T" had the original "T" body, and the driver's side front door didn't even open on a Model T. The outline of it was stamped into the sheet metal, but ol' Henry didn't make it functional to cut costs.

If you really think about it, it was an accident waiting to happen, yet somehow they lived to be old men without worrying about it too much.

Personally I would have left the wheel in place, even if it would only be a good as handgrab. (You just watch out for the guy that turns it when he comes to a switch and disqualify him to ever run a locomotive!)
« Last Edit: January 09, 2009, 02:08:15 PM by Steve Klare »

Stewart "Start" Rhine

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Re: What is the SR&RL railcar bodies based on?
« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2009, 04:43:18 PM »
Steve,  The Model A was built in the Phillips shop in 1934.  By that time Model T's had been out of production for 7 years so the Model A drive train was used.  It was numbered 3 and used the frame and open/work body from the old railbus 3 which was a Model T.  The railbus body and frame was shortened because the Model A wound up with 4 uprights (not counting the windshield) when it originally had 6.  The standard Model T track cars also have 6 uprights.  The odd thing about the Model A is that it had Model T headlights, probably left over from the railbus days.  They have indented glass whereas the Model A headlights have the glass flush with the lense rings.  I just looked at my Model A truck to be sure.  The T headlights on the SR&RL's Model A gave it a different look than the front of a regular Model A car or truck.  The Model A also retained it's front (tuck and roll upholstered) bus seat through the end of service.  That must have been a nice ride for the track crew. 

Good point about the danger of running a railcar.  I've thought about the missing steering wheel too, that would hurt!  Some railroads left the wheel in place, maybe for that reason.  Those Model T's can really move.  I rode in both SR&RL cars 1 & 2 when they were at Sheepscot for the picnic in 2000.  Car 2 had been there in previous years and Harry liked running her, he would really have her in the wind.  I remember that Car 1, (Vose's car) was very comfortable.  Must be those over stuffed seats.  The car has four operating doors.  It's true that earlier Model T's were 3 door cars with the stamped "fake" drivers door but Vose's car is a 1925 and has 4 working doors.  At some point Ford offered the opening drivers door, not sure what year it started. 
« Last Edit: January 09, 2009, 08:45:59 PM by Stewart Rhine »

Bernie Perch

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Re: What is the SR&RL railcar bodies based on?
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2009, 04:59:51 PM »
Guys,

How far along is the WW&FRR railcar?  Did the tires come in and if so, have they been shrunk on?

Bernie

Keith Taylor

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Re: What is the SR&RL railcar bodies based on?
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2009, 05:11:49 PM »
Steve and Stewart,
The only Model T's that I know of that had an opening left hand door, were the English (and some Canadian) T's that had right hand drive, and in that case the right hand door was fake. There were two reasons for this and neither was cost. Number one was the car wasn't stiff enough if there were four doors, and number two was your path was blocked by the Hand Brake/ Neutral / High Speed lever. You would get hurt trying to enter the car with the lever in the way.
Keith

Steve Klare

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Re: What is the SR&RL railcar bodies based on?
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2009, 05:33:29 PM »
Somewhere (probably in "Two Feet Between the Rails") there is a picture of Mr. Vose standing next to his "T" in front of Phillips station. I'll have to check this out!

I remember SR&RL #3: that was the prototype railbus that was opened bodied, then closed bodied and then retired when REO #5 went into service.

I would imagine a car on steel wheels really could get a move-on! That's a substantial reduction in rolling resistance. Of course the traction wouldn't be that great, but you wouldn't need as much either (then again, they did haul a coach with one at least once...)




Steve Klare

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Re: What is the SR&RL railcar bodies based on?
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2009, 06:20:00 PM »
Page 307 of Two Feet Between the Rails vol. 2 shows the Vose railcar on the table at Phillips with the driver's door open.

(Must be a nice ride with the top down!)

Ed Lecuyer

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Re: What is the SR&RL railcar bodies based on?
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2009, 06:26:21 PM »
Quote
How far along is the WW&FRR railcar?  Did the tires come in and if so, have they been shrunk on?

I think Jason finished one of the axles last week. The tires have not arrived yet. They also have to complete the transmission.
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Mike Fox

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Re: What is the SR&RL railcar bodies based on?
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2009, 06:42:55 PM »
As of last Saturday, Jason was working on the drive Axle. He had a keyway cut into the shaft, and was boring out the inside of the ring gear so it would fit the shaft. Original axle was something like 1 to 1 1/4 inch. The new one is 2 inches if I remember what he said. I got a quick lesson on lathe set up while finding someplace warm to hang out Saturday afternoon.
Mike
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Stewart "Start" Rhine

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Re: What is the SR&RL railcar bodies based on?
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2009, 07:33:33 PM »
Ed and Mike,  Thanks for the update on the new WW&F railcar, I'm looking forward to seeing it completed and getting qualified on it.  The car is built to the SR&RL open/work type body which will hold 6 adults, but in true WW&F style it will have a turntable for safer operation.

Steve, I found my photos from the 2000 picnic and it shows Vose's car running about 100 feet south of car 2.  That was the first time the two cars had operated on the same Maine railroad since 1936. Many visitors rode the cars, it was a great weekend!  A bit more on Model T's.  I'm no expert but I know that some improvements were made in the last few years of production.  The body was made wider and the ignition and brakes were improved.  The changes got the assembly line ready for the introduction of the Model A in 1928. 

As noted, the SR&RL and WW&F used Model T's.  The Monson and B&SR did too.  The KC was the only Maine two-footer that didn't get into Model T railcars.  It may be because on the railroad's length or because they ceased operations in 1929.  It's possible that if the SR&RL and WW&F had lasted longer they may have used other brands of cars or trucks as crew railcars.  The B&SR/B&HR which lasted until 1941 had a Chevrolet railcar which started it's flanged wheel life as railbus 2.  That was the exception to crew railcars.  The nice thing about the old Fords is that many parts will fit all of them, that's handy in the shop.  I've always liked their looks as railcars too.
« Last Edit: January 09, 2009, 08:12:27 PM by Stewart Rhine »

Mike the Choochoo Nix

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Re: What is the SR&RL railcar bodies based on?
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2009, 10:50:43 PM »


-So here you are: Mr. Motorman, sitting in a seat without belts of any kind with the butt end of a steering column pointed straight into your chest.

I guess the track workers could have "joined the birds" if they saw a crash coming, but Vose's "T" had the original "T" body, and the driver's side front door didn't even open on a Model T. The outline of it was stamped into the sheet metal, but ol' Henry didn't make it functional to cut costs.

If you really think about it, it was an accident waiting to happen, yet somehow they lived to be old men without worrying about it too much.

Personally I would have left the wheel in place, even if it would only be a good as handgrab. (You just watch out for the guy that turns it when he comes to a switch and disqualify him to ever run a locomotive!)


On the 3 foot gauge "Casey Jones" railbus in Silverton CO they left the steering wheel in place and connected a cable to the arm at the bottom end. The cable ran through some pulleys to a brake beam at the rear axel. The steering wheel become a brake wheel!

Mike Nix
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Steve Klare

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Re: What is the SR&RL railcar bodies based on?
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2009, 11:13:51 PM »
Hmmmm...

Kinda dangerous the next time the motorman drives a regular car!