+3 votes
30 views

3 Answers

+4 votes
by

Does the whistle signal when approaching a crossing (long-long-short-long) have anything to do with the Morse code letter Q (dah-dah-di-dah)? :unsure:


by
+3

Ask an expert. :D

by
+3

But, but... I thought you were an expert on railroads. :D

by
+2

:D....

+3 votes
by

SFA, THAT is not what I think of as a speeder; and I have a photo for you. This was operated by two men, you can see the handles they worked up and down to propel the speeder (or handcar) along the tracks!

But I am in logging country, and all over the place in Western Washington State you find those fragments of the original railroad, now either used for expeditions like your video, or sometimes converted into bike paths/hiking paths.
image

by
+1

Operating a handcar must have been hard on the operators' backs:O

by
+2

I have always fancied working one of those!

Just been looking at ‘speeders’ and they look like little cars on rails.

by
+2


by
+3

Tink it is a wonderful video! I couldn't quite figure out...they spoke of these handcars in the past tense, but the ones they showed looked new...made you wonder if they still use them, or just historical now.

I have not seen one in operation since 1955 or earlier, that is when we moved away from the railroad tracks, I would have been 10 years old. And this even showed a man easily lifting one off the tracks! I never even thought about how they might operate, although when these folks explained it, it did seem obvious.

Anyway it was a thoroughly informative (and delightful) and well-spent 8+ minutes!

by
+1

Glad you liked it, Virginia.

I was just thinking, from the video, it appears that the handcar moves about 16 feet for each pump of the handle. That means that to go a mile, he would have to pump over 300 times!

It's comparable to how far an ungeared bicycle moves for each rotation of the pedals, 13 or 14 feet, but I think pumping with your legs would be easier than pumping that hand lever.

by
+2

Tink, I recall also your comment above, about how hard the handcar would be on someone's back...and probably until my own generation, brutally hard work was really common, I think...the physical exertion (and pain) those folks would endure as a matter of course, and never think twice about it.

I remember my mother talking about trying to keep my father home from work once when he had flu or something, of course no sick leave in those days...and she came in, and there he was reading the newspaper, claiming to feel better, going to go to work tomorrow! Then she realized it was all a show for her, because he was holding the newspaper upside down.

If someone got killed on a logging operation in the woods, that was no reason to slow production, you just loaded the fellow on the barge and took him in at the end of the day.

by
+2
by
+2

I remember playing this song on a 78 at my grandparents...i owe my soul to the company store...the truck system.Not good...

+3 votes
by

What a fun ride!  I love all things railroad, even on this scale.  8-)

...