Railway Preservation News

Horse cars and horse cars
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Author:  Bob Davis [ Sat Sep 07, 2013 9:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Horse cars and horse cars

There was a notice on the main Interchange board about a "horse car" being scrapped. I immediately thought of this kind of car, i.e. a small conveyance powered by one or more "hayburners". I suggested that the large cars, a variation on the typical heavyweight baggage cars of the 1920s, usually used for transporting race horses to the next track, be identified as "horse express cars". At least two of Santa Fe's horse express cars are preserved, one at Orange Empire and one at LA County Fairgrounds, where the UP 4014 will soon be leaving the display.

Photo: an "imitation" horsecar at Solvang, the Danish-theme town in Santa Barbara County CA about 40 years ago.

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Author:  Bob Davis [ Sat Sep 07, 2013 9:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Horse cars and horse cars

Some "horsecars" were powered by mules, especially in warmer climates. Here's a replica of the Ontario and San Antonio Heights mule car, complete with the trailer that used to give the critters a "free ride" downhill. The line was electrified in 1895, and the body of one of the 170-class cars that Pacific Electric used after the overhead was changed to 1200 volts is preserved at Orange Empire. The display is in the median of Euclid Ave. in Ontario, right where the original car ran.

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Author:  filmteknik [ Sat Sep 07, 2013 11:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Horse cars and horse cars

I thought they meant horse car as well.

I feel sorry for the horse in the top photo. The whole point of a horse car as opposed to just some sort of horse-drawn coach is the low friction of steel wheel on steel rail (or iron if you prefer). That appears to be a fairly large car for a single horse to pull on what are probably ordinary pneumatic tires. Look up omnibus and you will see much smaller vehicles and still they used more than one horse.


Author:  Bob Davis [ Sun Sep 08, 2013 1:26 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Horse cars and horse cars

Solvang is in an area with lots of horses. If this one was being overworked, one of the locals would have done something about it, and we don't mean just writing to "Good Horsekeeping" magazine. I haven't been to Solvang in many years, so I don't know if this ride is still in operation. Also, formerly of railroad interest in this area: About five miles away on US 101 north of Buellton, there used to be a long-closed diner which incorporated the bodies of two Huntington Standard streetcars from Los Angeles. After being moved to Morro Bay, they were moved again to a private live steam railroad operation near Arroyo Grande (near San Luis Obispo). Solvang is also not far from the estate of the late Michael Jackson, who reportedly had a narrow gauge railway on his property.

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