BangShifty Video: This Homebuilt Steam Powered Rail Speeder Is Incredible


BangShifty Video: This Homebuilt Steam Powered Rail Speeder Is Incredible

(By Greg Rourke) – We’ve featured rail speeders in the past. They were built as inspection vehicles, and to get crews to places not accessible by road. They have been largely replaced by Hi Rail trucks today, but there’s guys who collect them and have excursions on the rails. Looks like big fun.

The speeders were usually powered by small gasoline engines, Wisconsin four cylinder air cooled plants seemed the most popular. If you want one, you can usually find them for sale. Or you can be like this cat, who likes to do things the hard way, with steam.
It looks like he built the whole thing himself, he said in only six months. It looks pretty bare bones, with no cab, and the seat is the wood box. It appears there is no tank for extra water so I assume his trips are limited, since we don’t have any Petticoat Junction style water tanks on the railroads anymore. (Old guy reference, it was a show in the 60’s. The local hotties would bathe in the water tower)  The builder says he can burn coal or wood, todays demonstration is with wood so we don’t have any impressive plumes of black smoke. We can see some parts were sourced from any industrial supply house, some standard plumbing, and a whole bunch of impressively owner built stuff. He must have plenty of confidence in his welding with 100 PSI of steam.
The video seems to have been a link to the ad when he was selling it. When not steaming down the rails, I’d sit  in the driveway and play with the steam whistle. The neighbors would hate me.
Well…more than they currently do.


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One thought on “BangShifty Video: This Homebuilt Steam Powered Rail Speeder Is Incredible

  1. Tanglefoot

    That’s pretty impressive ! Steam power is one of the fascinating and forgotten skills that was once really common ( not many people know how to shoe a horse anymore ether ) . He’s obviously confident in his engineering and welding skills seeing that he sits directly behind the boiler lol .

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