Home Open Account Help 252 users online

Steam & Excursion > Our handcars in Ely


Date: 09/15/20 19:53
Our handcars in Ely
Author: webmaster

The week leading up to Labor Day, Mason and I spent the week running tests on our handcars over the Nevada Northern Railway in Ely.  This summer we were supposed to have been running across the Monterey Branch Line, but we pulled out of the lease account of the pandemic.  With the downtime Mason decided to redesign the mechanism to remove a potential pinch point.  This visit gave us some good data.  We also hosted paying participants on our two handcars to gauge our business plan. It is clear to us that we will have no problem finding customers in the future. We had people driving hundreds of miles from Las Vegas, Elko, and Salt Lake who really did not have interest in trains, but wanted the opportunity to operate our devices.  

We brought our seated touring car and a standard handcar.  Mason and I took turns guiding the two cars using the standard car with two paying participants, leading the seated car with four participants. For those that know the railroad, we ran the cars from East Ely and up about a mile past High Line Junction and then return, a total of about 8.5 miles.  We were rather surprised at how well people did with the touring car.  We had a family with two small children that had no problem climbing the 1.2% grade coming up past Bath Lumber.  For the standard car we found that people loved it, but some were not quite up to the challenge so Mason and I worked pretty hard. We had the standard  carriders wear helmets as the biggest danger is someone losing their balance and falling off the back.  We had one lady that protested that her head was her right.  Perhaps if it was her railroad and her handcar, but it was not.  If you fall off the car with a helmet chances of a serious injury are pretty unlikely if you are wearing a helmet.  I painted her a picture of what could happen without it and she put it on without further complaint.

 

Todd Clark
Canyon Country, CA
Trainorders.com

You must be a registered subscriber to watch videos. Join Today!




Date: 09/15/20 20:30
Re: Our handcars in Ely
Author: ATSFSuperChief

Nice video and great way to enforce helmet rule. A six foot fall head first could easily be deadly.

Don Allender



Date: 09/15/20 20:52
Re: Our handcars in Ely
Author: PlyWoody

Hi Todd,
They look great and wonderful to hear you had such good success.  They will do fine.  Most of this summer rail cars have been selling out at Phoenicia, NY, and the same with the operation at North River, NY on the private trackage still owned by Ed Ellis, former Saratoga & North Creek RR. Interesting to see the gearing is right to climb 1.2%,  a grade which would bog down some cars designs in the east,

You might consider a pin on your lower frame bar in order to attach tow bars to move them all as a unit when you get your multiple cars in operation and need to move them all empty.

The procedure with the virus, is a railcar is used per auto car load, as different groups all stay apart.  They do not sit different groups together. It is all in open air exersize.  All service is by reservation in most cases and do not handle direct walk in customers.

For folks that have not experienced this hobby, all operators have one railroad qualified operator who runs with his group of cars and give help or advice per each run.  This is the same as a track-gang of track worker being managed by one foreman who might have 15 separate machine workers with tamper, spiker, tie removers, tie inserters, ballast regulators, and etc. other types of equipment in the gang  Only the Foreman is required to be the qualified person on the track he is working.  This is like having a pilot who helps navigation a movement over a different railroad.



Date: 09/15/20 21:06
Re: Our handcars in Ely
Author: coach

Hook up an EKG heart reading machine and see how everyone is doing with all that arm and leg pumping!



Date: 09/15/20 21:16
Re: Our handcars in Ely
Author: webmaster

PlyWoody Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> You might consider a pin on your lower frame bar
> in order to attach tow bars to move them all as a
> unit when you get your multiple cars in operation
> and need to move them all empty.
>

There is a tow hitch installed on the car and is one of the reasons there is a center bar running down the center of the car.  

Our insurance carrier that was going to cover us in Monterey required one guide for every four cars. They asked for a guide at the front and a guide to the rear so nobody got left behind.

The car could probably go up 1.5% grade without people crapping out.  It is geared the same as a standard velocipede and the sweet spot is about 8 mph without much effort.   It also doesn't like to go slow either.  Our historic prototype was a telegraph velocipede car that was geared with a sweet spot of 10-12 mph.  Those rail bicycle contraptions are not the most efficient machines and a number of operations have resorted to electric assist.  My son designed this for flexibility on branch lines that tend to have grades. 



 

Todd Clark
Canyon Country, CA
Trainorders.com



Date: 09/16/20 07:52
Re: Our handcars in Ely
Author: RRTom

Neat stuff.
Looks like the crossing gates were activated.  Do your cars shunt the track?
How is the ride over the frog area of turnouts?  Would the standing woman on the handpump railcar need to hold on over the gap?



Date: 09/16/20 09:02
Re: Our handcars in Ely
Author: webmaster

RRTom Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Neat stuff.
> Looks like the crossing gates were activated.  Do
> your cars shunt the track?

The gates were dropped by a railroad employee.  The wheels have wood centers and as such insulate the car.  We have one handcar in our fleet that has uninsulated wheels, but the car is not heavy enough to activate track circuits.  I should rephrase that, for modern crossing installations it will put the crossing into fault mode and keep the system activated anytime it is in the circuit... that is a long time.  We plan to repalce that cars steel wheels with wood centered wheels at some point.  I have a prototype handcar activation device that uses a highway traffic inductance loop to shunt a track circuit if we ever find ourself on track where we could use it.  It senses metalic over it and closes a relay.

> How is the ride over the frog area of turnouts? 
> Would the standing woman on the handpump railcar
> need to hold on over the gap?

The cars rolls over frogs without issue.  It is not much different than rolling across a beaten joint....basically makes more noise.

 

Todd Clark
Canyon Country, CA
Trainorders.com



Date: 09/16/20 13:35
Re: Our handcars in Ely
Author: asheldrake

best wishes Todd.....I think this, like Railriders has great potential.....please keep us updated on progress.     Arlen



Date: 09/16/20 16:01
Re: Our handcars in Ely
Author: nycman

Todd, your touring car looks like a heck of a lot of fun for four.  Really clever idea.  Best of luck with your sales.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/16/20 16:02 by nycman.



Date: 09/16/20 22:13
Re: Our handcars in Ely
Author: EMD2024

Back in the late 70's I and a couple of volunteer buddies who also put in weekend time as guides at the Transport Museum in St. Louis decided take on a Wabash handcar. Stripped the paint off and replaced what was needed. Primed and repainted it exactly as it was donated to the NMOT out of our pockets. Took it out on spins on the MoPac roof truss company siding out front after hours and then locked it back in it's cage after. Would have been great to have been able to do this back in the day.

You son's efforts are amazing to see. Best of luck to this young man!

MWPerkins

Posted from Android



Date: 09/17/20 08:23
Re: Our handcars in Ely
Author: superheat

Hi Todd,
What fun!  If you ever do the San Diego and Arizona Eastern to the Goat Canyon trestle I'd be happy to buy a ticket.



Date: 09/17/20 15:09
Re: Our handcars in Ely
Author: ns1000

Cool video!!  



Date: 09/17/20 16:14
Re: Our handcars in Ely
Author: Jim700

PlyWoody Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------

> For folks that have not experienced this hobby, all operators have one railroad qualified operator
> who runs with his group of cars and give help or advice per each run.  This is the same as a
> track-gang of track worker being managed by one foreman who might have 15 separate machine
> workers with tamper, spiker, tie removers, tie inserters, ballast regulators, and etc. other types of
> equipment in the gang  Only the Foreman is required to be the qualified person on the track he is
> working.  This is like having a pilot who helps navigation a movement over a different railroad.

And it is important that the "qualified operator" pay attention and adhere to the rules which are specified in their contract with the track lessor.  Lack of compliance just ended the season three weeks early at this operator's two locations on the Oregon Coast due to the very recent cancellation of their contract by the lessor.




Date: 09/19/20 12:48
Re: Our handcars in Ely
Author: Seventyfive

Excellent video!  When and if the virus and smoke clear up, one of my first road trips will be to enjoy one of these excursions.
 



[ Share Thread on Facebook ] [ Search ] [ Start a New Thread ] [ Back to Thread List ] [ <Newer ] [ Older> ] 
Page created in 0.0509 seconds