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 Post subject: Mystery Railtruck, 27" gauge
PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 9:29 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 9:18 am
Posts: 596
Location: Wall, NJ
A friend of ours recently picked up this rail truck off ebay. It was in Maryland, south and east of DC. Its now in NJ and a couple of us working on the Hainesport PRR cabin car will be helping out the new owner. Looks to have a Model A engine and transmission, although that is to be verified. Looks like a Model A or T rear axle which was nicely narrowed for use on rail. The kicker is that it looks to have been built to 27” gauge. I have seen some odd narrow gauges, 48” and 40-1/2” being a couple. The 23” that Rick Rowlands was working with I see as odd. But, 27” gauge is a first for me.

Not sure which way the new owner will go with it gauge wise. Its actually fairly solid, a steel forward frame, wood rear frame, the tin roof on the body really saved it all from the elements.

Apparently home made, but the axle work is very well done. I really wonder where the parts came from originally. It really has the back woods look.

I’d be interested in anyone who may have heard of any 27” gauge operations.

J.R. May


Attachments:
side 1b.jpg
side 1b.jpg [ 269.86 KiB | Viewed 5948 times ]


Last edited by JR May on Sun May 20, 2018 10:28 am, edited 1 time in total.
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 Post subject: Re: Mystery Railtruck, 27" gauge
PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 9:40 am 

Joined: Thu May 17, 2018 4:39 pm
Posts: 13
Interesting, the front wheel looks like a standard motorcar wheel, but I've never seen anything like the rear wheels, they look custom to me. Hopefully someone can give you insight as to where the car used to be operated as any railroad with a piece of equipment like that has to be an interesting one!


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 Post subject: Re: Mystery Railtruck, 27" gauge
PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 10:32 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 9:18 am
Posts: 596
Location: Wall, NJ
There is lettering cast into the rear wheels, but in the rain yesterday I was not curious enough to get soaked trying to see it clearly. Hopefully this coming weekend we will be able to take a closer look at it. That assumes the rain ever stops.


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 Post subject: Re: Mystery Railtruck, 27" gauge
PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 11:03 am 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:19 am
Posts: 5841
Location: southeastern USA
I wonder if a metric gauge is somewhere near 27" - perhaps 70 CM or some such? I've laid hands on 60 and 90 CM stuff before but this would be a new one for me.....

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 Post subject: Re: Mystery Railtruck, 27" gauge
PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 11:24 am 

Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2015 1:28 am
Posts: 415
Location: Ipswich, UK
Dave wrote:
I wonder if a metric gauge is somewhere near 27" - perhaps 70 CM or some such? I've laid hands on 60 and 90 CM stuff before but this would be a new one for me.....


There were a few 2' 3" ones here in the UK and a list is on the page below - The most well known one, which is still in operation, being the Tallylyn in Wales...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_2 ... e_railways

Note that page says 700mm (2' 3 9/16") was used on several Cuban sugar cane lines.

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 Post subject: Re: Mystery Railtruck, 27" gauge
PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 4:34 pm 

Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 1:33 pm
Posts: 444
Location: Oroville, CA
Well, I can verify that the engine pictured is a Model A engine (or a B engine with an A head on it). Just above the water inlet fitting is a pad; the engine number is stamped there, and from that you can tell when the engine was built.
No pic of the rear axle, so can't help you there, although there is a major difference between A and T rear axles.

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 Post subject: Re: Mystery Railtruck, 27" gauge
PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 5:29 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 9:18 am
Posts: 596
Location: Wall, NJ
David:
Here's a few photos of the rear axle.

Thanks for the help,
J.R.


Attachments:
rear end 2 sm.jpg
rear end 2 sm.jpg [ 288.42 KiB | Viewed 5641 times ]
rear end 1 sm.jpg
rear end 1 sm.jpg [ 306.83 KiB | Viewed 5641 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Mystery Railtruck, 27" gauge
PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 7:39 pm 

Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 4:24 pm
Posts: 29
Looks like it may have been part of a western shore amusement park circa 1900 to 1940. Many of MDs western shore beaches had little railroad amusement lines. These died out during the depression, and the building of the Bay bridge in the fifties sealed the deal on all the western shore resorts


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 Post subject: Re: Mystery Railtruck, 27" gauge
PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 8:42 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 7:25 pm
Posts: 1939
There was a narrow gauge steam park train on the pier at Chesapeake Beach, MD in the 1920. The Beach featured a large amusement park at the end of the Chesapeake Beach Railway from Washington, DC. The CBR had a Ford-powered standard gauge inspection car with a "creative" homemade body. But none of the details in that car body and wheels match the style of the Railtruck shown here, even allowing for modification over the years.

Given the location, I wonder if the vehicle was used in construction on the Navy base at Indian Head, MD?

Wesley

Attachment:
Chesapeake Beach Motor.jpg
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 Post subject: Re: Mystery Railtruck, 27" gauge
PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2018 11:31 pm 

Joined: Fri Oct 01, 2004 1:33 pm
Posts: 444
Location: Oroville, CA
JR, 1920-27 Model T rear axle housings (passenger car). It would be interesting to see how they adapted the model A transmission to the T driveshaft housing. It could be the bells are the same size, I don't know!

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 Post subject: Re: Mystery Railtruck, 27" gauge
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 1:19 am 

Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 12:02 am
Posts: 284
The "Bumblebee Special" a homemade miniature train that ran in Everett, WA was also 27" gauge, and ran on small (around 20lb) mining rail. The train is now on static display at the Western Heritage Center on the Evergreen State Fairgrounds in Monroe, WA.

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 Post subject: Re: Mystery Railtruck, 27" gauge
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 1:25 am 

Joined: Wed Mar 31, 2010 12:02 am
Posts: 284
I wonder if this rig is a homemade speeder for a non-conventional railroad. Think of other operations that used railroads for transport or even just for maintenance. Power companies that used wooden flumes are one thing that comes to mind. Sometimes those wooden flumes had a railroad built on top with speeders as the rolling stock, used exclusively for maintaining and inspecting the structure. Were there any atypical railways near where there this thing was found?

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 Post subject: Re: Mystery Railtruck, 27" gauge
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 8:25 am 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 9:18 am
Posts: 596
Location: Wall, NJ
David:
Transmission photo is attached. Appreciate your tech data. This is very useful.
J.R.


Attachments:
trans.jpg
trans.jpg [ 238.75 KiB | Viewed 5200 times ]
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 Post subject: Re: Mystery Railtruck, 27" gauge
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 1:53 pm 

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2004 6:10 pm
Posts: 188
Interesting that the front axel is sprung, and the back one solid. I wonder if the front end may have been assembled for something else and later used on this one.
Mike.

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 Post subject: Re: Mystery Railtruck, 27" gauge
PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2018 4:47 pm 

Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2004 9:18 am
Posts: 596
Location: Wall, NJ
Per request, I can provide some very limited background as follows:

The rail truck came up on ebay in the March 2018 time frame. Located in Waldorf, MD.

The seller indicated that his uncle built it during the 1920's. The uncle lived in the Brandywine, MD area, not far from Waldorf, MD. He had family in the RR business so the thought was that they were the source of the parts to build it. The uncle had his own railroad which ran less than a mile. He apparently had other cars which he pulled with this rail truck.

That's all there is.

J.R.


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