Speeders & Trailers

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The WK&S uses speeders for track maintenance and inspections. For 2012 the railroad acquired and restored speeder 189-82. But the railroad did not own any speeders throughout most of its history. Instead, speeders were typically borrowed from WK&S volunteers.

Shown below is motorcar 189-82, the only speeder currently owned by the WK&S. It's a Fairmont A-4D previously used on the Canadian National Railway. The car has a Ford 2.3 liter 4-cylinder engine with a New Process 435 transmission. The car was probably built sometime around 1980, making it the newest piece of equipment at the WK&S. Apparently the number 189-82 represents both the CN MOW section number and unit number. So the motorcar would have been the 82nd piece of equipment acquired by section 189.

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189-82.

Shown below is Western Maryland #211, one of the borrowed speeders recently in use. This is a Fairmont A3 with a four-cylinder Waukesha engine, shipped to the Western Maryland on August 26, 1953. The cab was likely home-built by the WM. The WK&S began using the car in the mid-1990s.

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WM 211.

Here's another of the borrowed speeders recently in use, a Lehigh Valley Fairmont A-5. The car has an LV cab and was re-engined at some point with a Chevy 250. 7473 was probably not the car's original number, however, it was numbered somewhere in the 74xx series. The WK&S began using the car in the early to mid-1990s.

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LV 7473.

The WK&S owns an assortment of trailer cars. There's a homebuilt Tool Car made from a former LNE flatcar. The Tool Car has been around ever since I can remember and is used to transport ties and tie replacement tools. Even though this Tool Car is a WK&S original and has no "heritage", so to speak, there was interest in using to car as a prototype for a large scale model railroad piece. I'm not sure what became of that project. Around 2003 the WK&S acquired a high-volume compressor for spiking and tamping. At first the compressor was simply placed on a flat car. But a few years later the compressor received its own permanent chassis with running gear from an LNE flat car. There are also a few other generic flat cars around the property. The picture at the top of the page shows a flat car, the Tool Car and the Compressor Car. Note the temporary plywood sides on the flat for transporting ballast.

Around 2012 a numbering system was devised for the railroad's MOW equipment. It will take a few years before the numbers appear on everything that needs to be restored and repainted, but the list appears below.

#81 Tie Replacement Cart
#82 Compressor/Welding Cart
#83 General Purpose Cart (wood top)
#84 General Purpose Cart (set up for logging and Old Tie Removal)
#85 General Purpose Cart (no deck, struts only used for forklift transfers and logging)
#86 General Purpose Cart (wood top)
#87 General Purpose Cart (extra long, steel top, heavy duty)
#91 Ford Pickup Truck
#92 GMC Hi-Rail Dump Truck
#93 Forklift
#94 Backhoe

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The Tool Car #81 and another LNE flat car.

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This picture shows the compressor before it was permanently mounted to its own custom chassis.

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This picture shows the new custom compressor car complete with welding equipment.

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By 2011 the compressor/welding car #82 had been further refined and painted.

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Flatcar #83 restored 2011.

Flatcar #84 started out as a self-propelled powered tie remover. The car was made operable but proved impractical for WK&S needs. So the machinery was scrapped and the chassis was made into a flatcar.

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Flatcar #84.

In the earliest days of the railroad, the WK&S did own a former Lehigh & New England Fairbanks-Morse #556. This speeder along with several of the LNE flat cars were delivered inside some of the LNE gondolas that were purchased for conversion to open passenger carrying cars. The #556 was sold to a WK&S volunteer around 1969 when the railroad temporarily closed for financial reorganization. The car was not in very good condition, but was eventually at least semi-restored and has changed hands several times. It's probably still around somewhere. During the 1970s and most of the 1980s the WK&S used a former Lehigh Valley ST-2 speeder #7325. This car was on loan from the late Jimmy DeLong, a long time WK&S volunteer. The car is no longer used at the WK&S, but has found its way into the hands of a new WK&S volunteer. Next came "Mad Max", a WK&S homebuilt speeder. Mad Max was built from a crazy collection of parts including a boat trailer for the frame, a Toyota truck transmission, brake components from a motorcycle, a lawnmower engine and other assorted automotive parts and scrap. The engine and transmission were connected by a primitive friction-belt clutch made from pulleys and a fan-belt. The car was equipped was a jack and turning arrangement since the transmission only offered one gear in reverse, however, I don't recall anyone ever going to the trouble of turning the car. There was also the "Green Hornet". The Green Hornet (which was painted green) was a brakeman's jitney car. This car was acquired from the Reading Company along with another de-motored car. The pair of cars would have been used to shuttle brakemen in hump yards that lacked automatic car retarders. The pair briefly offered passenger rides at the WK&S before the de-motored car was used to build the WK&S Berksy Trolley. Otherwise, I don't recall that the powered car was ever much used for anything but a bit of track maintenance. Both Mad Max and the Green Hornet left the property in the '90s.

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Lehigh & New England Fairbanks-Morse #556.

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Lehigh Valley ST-2 #7325. Note the footboards are in their raised position. Picture snapped at Kempton 6/1/91.

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"Mad Max", #17. I could use a better picture. Send 'em if you've got 'em.

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The "Green Hornet". This picture was taken in down town Kempton where the southern end of the Kempton passing track diverged from the main line. The switch and the main line through town are gone. The crew is re-connecting the passing track to what's left of the main line. The switch timbers indicate the former alignment of the main line.

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This picture was probably taken in the 1990s soon before the Green Hornet left the property. Photo by Keith Dorn.