Sunday, June 22, 2014

More Inspection Cars

Paul Schneble recently pointed me to a couple of interesting inspection cars not unlike our own.  The first is a Rock Island unit, #564.  I'll leave it to you to tell me what type of automobile this is.  It appears to have the same general sort of narrow treads and steel flanges as ours.
(Otto C. Perry photograph, courtesy Denver Public Library, Western History Collection)

The best part about this one are the brooms mounted to the front bumper to sweep the rails.  What sort of railroad has that much loose debris on the railheads?

And the next one is a 1940 Buick used by the Missouri and Arkansas, an Arkansas short line.
( Courtesy Witbeck Studio, Hammond, Louisiana, from
Clifton Hall, Shortline Railroads of Arkansas, c. 1969)

The interesting thing here, I think, is that it appears to have ordinary tires and no flanges.  Perhaps it's just an unmodified auto, and if you steer carefully enough you can keep it on the track?!?

Update: And Bill Buhrmaster pointed out that on Ebay there is a photo of Milwaukee Road #23, which appears to be identical to our #30, except that it has a small spotlight on the front of the roof.

Meanwhile, our inspection car still needs money to pay for track space, as well as cosmetic restoration, at least to begin with.  Please donate to the Milwaukee Rd. #30 restricted fund.   Thanks!


Anonymous said...

The brooms on the front are a good idea, it wouldn't take much snow to derail a light car. In the fall the leaves on the track can make things pretty slick as well.

Randy Stahl

Patrick Cunningham, CIP, FAI said...

I wonder if the brooms on the Rock Island car are in front of the tires, rather than on the rails. Maybe they are designed to brush debris off the ties so the tires aren't punctured or ride up and take the flange off the rail.

They might foul a switch, though.

Chris said...

The brooms are most definitely just above the rails, in front of the tires. Similar devices (like small plows) are pretty standard on "speeder" motorcars. Since these vehicles are light they want to knock any debris off the rails that can lift the wheels. I'm not sure how well they work in accumulated snow, but the plows or guards on speeders tend to be on torsion springs so they will just bend in to the wheels if they encounter too much of an opposing force.

Anonymous said...

'36 Ford Fordor.


Randall Hicks said...

Thanks, Steve. What a neat car! Certainly a lot classier than my '13 Fiesta.

The car in the picture has a very deep "center sill", to coin a phrase, that doesn't appear on any pictures of an ordinary road-worthy '36 Fordor. I wonder what purpose it was supposed to serve? The bars on our Milwaukee Road car are much more obviously designed to keep the car from being damaged by landing on a rail in the case of a derailment.