More fuel efficient than a steaming locomotive

GON

$100 Site Donor 2023
Joined
Nov 28, 2014
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3,835
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Steilacoom, WA
Mound City & Eastern Railway at Long Lake circa 1933. This contraption pulling the cars was designed by MC&E president Warren Wallace Rabey. A truck would be fastened to it and serve as a “locomotive” that could pull a handful of cars, then detach and make front door deliveries. It was significantly cheaper to operate than a steam locomotive. The guy that ran the truck didn’t even work for the railroad, he ran a garage and drove the truck as needed (a fellow named Alvin Lammle).

The truck appears to be an International SF-46 2 ton truck with a 36 hp engine based on an internal MC&E letter I have. No model year is mentioned though. It could haul 2 loaded rail cars at a time making 6 miles-per-gallon at speeds of 15-20 mph. The railroad traffic was light enough to justify this, in the month of March 1933 they only handled 6 loads of wheat, 1 of rye, 1 of gasoline, 1 of cattle, and 2 of coal!
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Joined
Aug 19, 2010
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10,842
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Champlain/Hudson Valley
Why not?
I rode in a V8 powered wagon (one car) which appeared homemade. It ran on a line from Meriden, CT to somewhere on the New Haven Line of MetroNorth. I was on my way to NYC. This was in 1974.
The V8 was in the middle of the car with seats both fore and aft. The motorman sat on what looked like a lifeguard's chair aside the engine.
The exhaust was cobbled together from what looked like scrap pipe from a junkyard and reached up through the roof.
A completely unique experience it was.
 
Joined
Sep 27, 2015
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4,580
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USA
Fuel cost is not the reason. Moving even a two car steam train required a crew of 2 or 3 unionized workers. Here we have one part-time guy. I bet that contraption got a lot of unexplained flat tires and other problems.
 
Joined
Sep 10, 2013
Messages
405
Location
Tonville, Colorado
Reminds me of the Galloping Goose. There were several around the country including the mountains of Colorado.
The infrastructure required to operate a steam locomotive was extensive. Water every 50-100 miles. Greasing the same. Coal or oil every 100-200 miles. It took a lot of energy to support this.
An ICE did not.

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Joined
May 21, 2018
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3,370
Location
South Carolina
The old steam engines were a mechanical, and expensive, nightmare to maintain. I can see this for a short run of a few cars.
 
Joined
May 26, 2014
Messages
5,597
Location
Columbus,Nebraska
Reminds me of the Galloping Goose. There were several around the country including the mountains of Colorado.
The infrastructure required to operate a steam locomotive was extensive. Water every 50-100 miles. Greasing the same. Coal or oil every 100-200 miles. It took a lot of energy to support this.
An ICE did not.

View attachment 120198

Pierce Arrow automobile adapted for railroad passenger and freight service. Rio Grande Southern RR ran from Durango,Colorado west to Delores and then crossed the San Juans at Lizard Head Pass,descending to Telluride and down to Ridgeway. Probably the most scenic of Colorado's narrow gauge lines. The line was removed in the early fifties. Some of the wooden trestles were still in place in the early seventies. Number five Goose can be seen in Delores at the original RGS depot. See 'Silver San Juan/The Rio Grande Southern' by Ferrell. The first 'True Grit' with John Wayne was filmed in the same area as RGS right of way west of Ridgeway. Gorgeous high mountain meadows with the San Juans and Mount Sneffels as a backdrop.
 
Joined
May 26, 2014
Messages
5,597
Location
Columbus,Nebraska
I actually saw few v videos of the big boy restored converted to fuel oil running recently. Pretty amazing
#4014. Restored by UP steam shop in Cheyenne,Wyoming from 2014/2019. Rebuilt from the frame up. This grand old guy whistled into Columbus,Nebraska in June of 2019, greeted by an enthusiastic crowd.
 
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