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Nostalgia & History > Highrailing in 1959 (Images)


Date: 08/12/07 20:23
Highrailing in 1959 (Images)
Author: JimQuigg

These pictures were taken in Northern Florida in 1959. The locations were West of US highway 41 on the Starke to Bell branch of the SAL. In the first picture we are getting on at a grade crossing just West of the SAL/ACL diamond. We went several miles, then turned around and returned the same way. The trip went well with no derailments. This was one of several highrailing trips during that era.








Date: 08/12/07 20:25
Re: Highrailing in 1959 (Images)
Author: JimQuigg

Continued........








Date: 08/12/07 20:27
Re: Highrailing in 1959 (Images)
Author: JimQuigg

Final........








Date: 08/13/07 09:18
Re: Highrailing in 1959 (Images)
Author: hogantunnel

Very interesting. Was this abandoned track? How did the cars stay on the rails? Unless I'm missing something it looks like it was a matter of excellent steering. What's the make and year of the second car? Which guy are you in the group photos?

Thanks for showing them. Mike



Date: 08/13/07 09:26
Re: Highrailing in 1959 (Images)
Author: retcsxcfm

Looks like a 40 or 41 Chevy.The real kicker is the almost new 1958 Chevy.

Uncle Joe



Date: 08/13/07 09:44
Re: Highrailing in 1959 (Images)
Author: cdub

This is not real "Hi-Railing", as you need a seperate set of rail wheels on your vehicle to do that. I've heard of this particular kind of Highrailing, where you let enough air out your car's tires so that the tire will hug the surface of the rail. The car then pretty much steers itself.


hogantunnel Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Very interesting. Was this abandoned track? How
> did the cars stay on the rails? Unless I'm missing
> something it looks like it was a matter of
> excellent steering. What's the make and year of
> the second car? Which guy are you in the group
> photos?
>
> Thanks for showing them. Mike



Date: 08/13/07 09:50
Re: Highrailing in 1959 (Images)
Author: hogantunnel

sdp35 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Looks like a 40 or 41 Chevy.The real kicker is the
> almost new 1958 Chevy.
>
> Uncle Joe


I noticed that too, Uncle Joe. Don't think I'd be treating a one year old car like that, especially a semi-classic.



Date: 08/13/07 10:04
Re: Highrailing in 1959 (Images)
Author: BRAtkinson

My '72 Plymouth Satellite Sebring was a perfect car for 'spur of the moment' highrailing without steel wheels. The guage of the tires was 'just right'. Let out some air, and go.

Sad to say, though, I only went about 100' before I chickened out...being it was an active siding on the South Shore....So I backed up to the road and never did it again.



Date: 08/13/07 10:22
Re: Highrailing in 1959 (Images)
Author: hogantunnel

BRAtkinson Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> My '72 Plymouth Satellite Sebring was a perfect
> car for 'spur of the moment' highrailing without
> steel wheels. The guage of the tires was 'just
> right'. Let out some air, and go.
>
> Sad to say, though, I only went about 100' before
> I chickened out...being it was an active siding on
> the South Shore....So I backed up to the road and
> never did it again.


Probably a wise decision, BR. I wonder what a cherry Sebring is worth today? I remember an article in our local paper in the early 90's about these contraptions with wheels suitable for rails and powered by a sail. The author said that they were used only on abandoned track, which may be the case. But I'm sure there is always a great temptation to take those things on "hot" rail.



Date: 08/13/07 12:17
Re: Highrailing in 1959 (Images)
Author: Phil

hogantunnel Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> BRAtkinson Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > My '72 Plymouth Satellite Sebring was a perfect
> > car for 'spur of the moment' highrailing
> without
> > steel wheels. The guage of the tires was 'just
> > right'. Let out some air, and go.
> >
> > Sad to say, though, I only went about 100'
> before
> > I chickened out...being it was an active siding
> on
> > the South Shore....So I backed up to the road
> and
> > never did it again.
>
>
> Probably a wise decision, BR. I wonder what a
> cherry Sebring is worth today? I remember an
> article in our local paper in the early 90's about
> these contraptions with wheels suitable for rails
> and powered by a sail. The author said that they
> were used only on abandoned track, which may be
> the case. But I'm sure there is always a great
> temptation to take those things on "hot" rail.

Lets' upgrade the "probably" to a very wise decision. Highrailing and motorcaring is fun but the fun stops when somebody sets on illegaly and has a run in or a "meet" with a train.

Phil



Date: 08/13/07 14:33
Re: Highrailing in 1959 (Images)
Author: JimQuigg

hogantunnel Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> Very interesting. Was this abandoned track? How
> did the cars stay on the rails? Unless I'm missing
> something it looks like it was a matter of
> excellent steering. What's the make and year of
> the second car? Which guy are you in the group
> photos?
>
> Thanks for showing them. Mike

This track was not abandoned. It handled occasional loads of limestone and when in season it handled watermelons in ice refrigerator cars. The secret is to use a standard gauge car, do not touch the steering wheel once on the track, and make sure that the tires are fully inflated. Soft tires tend to derail.

The second car was my 1939 chevvy, a veteran of around 200 miles of highrailing. I am not in the group photos as I took the pictures. Notice that the windshield and rear window shots were taken from the second car.



Date: 08/13/07 14:36
Re: Highrailing in 1959 (Images)
Author: JimQuigg

cdub Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> This is not real "Hi-Railing", as you need a
> seperate set of rail wheels on your vehicle to do
> that. I've heard of this particular kind of
> Highrailing, where you let enough air out your
> car's tires so that the tire will hug the surface
> of the rail. The car then pretty much steers
> itself.
>
True. I don't believe that real Hi-Railing had been invented at this time, but as you can see, who needs it?



Date: 08/13/07 14:42
Re: Highrailing in 1959 (Images)
Author: JimQuigg

hogantunnel Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> sdp35 Wrote:
> --------------------------------------------------
> -----
> > Looks like a 40 or 41 Chevy.The real kicker is
> the
> > almost new 1958 Chevy.
> >
> > Uncle Joe
>
>
> I noticed that too, Uncle Joe. Don't think I'd be
> treating a one year old car like that, especially
> a semi-classic.

The 1958 Chevvy was not a classic at this time. A year after these pictures were taken, the 1958 Chevvy broadsided a Miami police car at a grade crossing. He forgot to use his horn. He was not cited for tresspassing, but only for wreckless driving. He had to pay a fine and damages to the police car. This pastime is not without some hazards.



Date: 08/13/07 20:05
Re: Highrailing in 1959 (Images)
Author: EMDSW-1

True, hirailing hadn't been invented yet but TRESPASSING surely had, which this obviously was.



Date: 08/13/07 22:51
Re: Highrailing in 1959 (Images)
Author: Railrev

So, why have these pictures come out now? All the principals, except JimQuigg have crossed to the other side, or the statute of limitations on trespassing has expired? Never did anything like this, but my uncle's 46 or 47 Ford had a wheel base about the same as the guage of the street cars in Los Angeles. He could put it in the groove of the street rails and the car would drive itself. Or so this little guy (at the time) thought. Magic. Never understood why my dad's Chevy wouldn't do it.



Date: 08/14/07 00:20
Re: Highrailing in 1959 (Images)
Author: norm1153

"Never did anything like this, but my uncle's 46 or 47 Ford had a wheel base about the same as the guage of the street cars in Los Angeles."

(guage=gauge)

If it was the local streetcar system - LaRY or LaMTA depending on the year - then it was narrow gauge 3'6" if memory serves. But if it was Pacific Electric tracks, then it was standard gauge.

There was even a bit of dual-gauge street trackage, where both systems shared one common rail.

And speaking of dual-gauge rail (once I get started it's hard to stop), San Francisco Muni had street trackage on Columbus shared between standard gauge streetcars and cable cars. Both shared one common rail, then came the cable slot, followed by the two rails on the opposite side.



Date: 08/14/07 16:49
Re: Highrailing in 1959 (Images)
Author: JimQuigg

EMDSW-1 Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> True, hirailing hadn't been invented yet but
> TRESPASSING surely had, which this obviously was.

EMDSW-1, you must be a lot younger than I am. For the record, I am 76 and have been a railfan since the age of 6. Back in the good old days there was no such thing as trespassing, at least not on railroad property. I walked into railroad yards, shops, rode in cabs, and at no time was I ever asked, let alone told to leave the property. Railroad personnel were always friendly and I was always welcomed back. I have many old B&W photos taken in yards and shops etc. Unfortunately, they are poor quality shots taken with a cheap box camera and not worth posting.



Date: 08/15/07 14:52
Re: Highrailing in 1959 (Images)
Author: NscaleMike

What was the name of the movie in the sixties, with George C. Scott .."The Flim Flam Man?" where is evaded police by riding on the rails with his old truck/flattened tires?



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