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Western Railroad Discussion > Monterey Branch handcar enterprise update


Date: 01/08/20 15:40
Monterey Branch handcar enterprise update
Author: webmaster

Over the past month I received a number of emails and PM's asking what is happening with our handcar proposal for the Monterey Branch Line. Today we had an important hearing with the agency leaders that included board of supervisors, local mayors and city councilmen.  Today's debate was pleasant and in the end they voted 4 for and 1 against to move forward with drafting a lease agreement for us to operate our handcars for a month this summer between Marina and the balloon loop.   We will have to go for a formal approval from the full commission in a couple of months, but we are almost there.

Here is a background thread
https://www.trainorders.com/discussion/read.php?4,4894973

We are against the clock to finish six new touring handcars in time for the event.  We got a bit distracted as we had to build a handcar for a reality television show that will feature two of our handcars.  That is being shot in a few weeks in Piru on the Fillmore and Western and will air on CBS in the spring or summer.

Here are some photos from our shop:
Image 1: four handcars under construction
Image 2: Some of wheels awaiting installation.  We made a total of 34 wood centered wheels using wheels made with all new tooling.  Hard to believe in 2020 that there is a stack of wood centered wheels anywhere to be found.

Video:  A demonstration of how we make our axles.  Mason opted for hollow axles instead of solid.  They are lighter weight and stronger.  The ends were turned and ground to perfection.  He uses liquid nitrogen to freeze the ends so they insert into the hollow pipe.  There is only a few working seconds before the pieces grow.





 

Todd Clark
Canyon Country, CA
Trainorders.com



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Date: 01/08/20 15:51
Re: Monterey Branch handcar enterprise update
Author: Copy19

Sounds good.  Who would have believed a handcar shop in 2020?

JB - Omaha



Date: 01/08/20 16:08
Re: Monterey Branch handcar enterprise update
Author: CarolVoss

Glad to hear you are getting favorable action. Who voted against? When you get things ready to go I'll have to try to figure a way to get down there to see it in operation and possibly take a ride as well.
C

Carol Voss
San Jose, CA



Date: 01/08/20 17:33
Re: Monterey Branch handcar enterprise update
Author: miralomarail

Todd, how is the ex Army trackage and who is charge of making repairs ?



Date: 01/08/20 17:55
Re: Monterey Branch handcar enterprise update
Author: webmaster

CarolVoss Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Glad to hear you are getting favorable action. Who
> voted against?

Mike Lebarre, Mayor of King City. I think he voted out of principal because he is chair of Salinas Monterey Transit and they were firmly against it in fear it would get in the way of the bus lane that is in the planning stages.  The worry is the community will love the concept so much that they can't get rid of us.  Ultimately, we are asking for a one month demonstration. If it goes well maybe we can return for future summers as a seasonal activity until they figure out what to do with the line.  I have no plans to relocate there and if I could get by maintaining the fleet during the year and running a few months during the summer I would be happy.  

Someday we hope to establish a handcar museum to showcase the human powered rail devices that built and maintained the railroads. The museum will house a collection of common handcars along with never commercially successful handcars that can only be found in patent archives. As an engineer Mason finds some of the designs that never took off intriguing. 

When you get things ready to go
> I'll have to try to figure a way to get down there
> to see it in operation and possibly take a ride as
> well.

 

Todd Clark
Canyon Country, CA
Trainorders.com



Date: 01/08/20 18:06
Re: Monterey Branch handcar enterprise update
Author: webmaster

miralomarail Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Todd, how is the ex Army trackage and who is
> charge of making repairs ?

The army trackage is gone.  For hosting handcars that track is in good condition, though I am a little concerned about the switches.  They are really rusty and I don't know if they will move. There are several spring frogs that we have to figure out how to modify so the cars don't fly off the tracks.  We are looking at jamming a wedge into them and then welding on some angle iron to continue the rail path.  We also have a couple of days of brush clearance ahead of us.

Todd Clark
Canyon Country, CA
Trainorders.com



Date: 01/08/20 19:28
Re: Monterey Branch handcar enterprise update
Author: kilroydiver

Todd, the trackage that used to be in the warehouse area of Fort Ord (on the east side of Highway 1) is gone, it was bulldozed in 2005. The balloon track and two loading spurs are still intact on the west side of Highway 1. All of the switches that remain on the Monterey branch are rusted in place by the salt air. 

good luck on your endeavor, when you get up and running I will have to come out and visit. I am surprised that the mayor of King city was given a voice in the matter considering King City has nothing to do with the Monterey branch. The idea of an adjacent bus line to the Monterey branch is just ridiculous. Dave



Date: 01/08/20 19:40
Re: Monterey Branch handcar enterprise update
Author: MojaveBill

Nice clean well-organized shop!!

Bill Deaver
Mojave, CA



Date: 01/08/20 20:05
Re: Monterey Branch handcar enterprise update
Author: doge_of_pocopson

I enjoyed watching your son’s craft, and after raising him, he must be a source of pride. Well done; our children are our love’s greatest work. B



Date: 01/08/20 23:57
Re: Monterey Branch handcar enterprise update
Author: Westbound

WARNING - Mason, put on your safety goggles and preserve your eyesight !



Date: 01/09/20 06:09
Re: Monterey Branch handcar enterprise update
Author: cjvrr

Very impressive operation!



Date: 01/09/20 07:59
Re: Monterey Branch handcar enterprise update
Author: skiptrain

Tod,

Thanks for the good news update on using a section of the old Monterey Branch for your hand car enterprise.  
It can be difficult to get things accomplished in our Monterey County.  
I have great memories of riding the Del Monte Express to San Francisco on that line back when it was pulled by steam. 

I would like to be one of your first customers.  I may need to put in a bit more work at the Carmel Valley Athletic Club. 

Enjoyed the photos.

Skip Marquard ​- Carmel Valley

Skip Marquard
Carmel Valley, CA



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