Tagged: motorcar

Week 37 – Adirondack Scenic Railroad

In early October, I had the good fortune to attend a motorcar excursion on the Adirondack Scenic Railroad out of Thendara, NY.l

The faithful UPRR #2535


An absolutely awful shot of yours truly.  I’m not sure why I was doing the “Is this thing on?” look with my Leica.



Depth of field


We don’t often have train meets on our excursions.  I wish I had been taking video, as these old Alcos positively thundered past belching black smoke.

Camera: Leica M3

Lens: Summilux 50mm

Film: Ilford HP5+

Developed at home on a JOBO CPP2 using D76 and scanned on Epson v700.

Week 29 – little blue engine

For 2 weeks in July of every year, the Cotton Valley Rail Trail Club brings its railcars to the Conway Scenic Railroad. We provide rides in the yard as a sideshow for a certain little blue (highly commercialized) engine.

This year I was carrying my Yashicamat LM.  I don’t remember which film this was, but I am very happy with the results.

Turntable lead
Roundhouse I
Roundhouse II
Neither little nor blue
The little blue guy himself
Unrelated but I love it.

Crawford Notch (P366 – 5/5)

On 5/5, Beth and I took the motorcar up Crawford Notch on the Conway Scenic RR with the Cotton Valley Rail Trail Club. I’ll let the photos do the talking.

Nikon FM2/Kodak Ektachrome E100G cross processed (above)
Smena Symbol (below)





Fan is short for Fanatic (P365 – July 5)

And one definition of fanatic would include driving 428 miles round trip for 20 miles of ‘rare mileage’ rails.  Still that’s what Beth and I did last Monday.  We were presented with the opportunity for a speeder excursion on the Beecher Falls Branch in Colebrook, NH.  The state is considering removal of the rails and conversion to an ATV trail.


It was worth the drive.

The latest news is that the locals are supportive of a multi-use trail which would preserve the rails.  Time will tell.

Hobo Railroad

We attended the 22nd Annual White Mountains Trackcar Meet on the Hobo and Winnipesaukee Railroads this weekend.  The motorcar ran very well; the weather not so much. DSC_6513.JPG

New Haven cab cars at the Hobo RR in Lincoln, NH.  June 4.DSC_6586.JPG

June 5.  Somewhere in Campton, NH.DSC_6595.JPG

June 6.  Angry sky over Weirs Beach, NH and the M/S Mount Washington. The rain started shortly after.

Sadie’s Pool (P365 – April 23)


Beth and I went for a picnic on the Cotton Valley Rail Trail today.  She really did have fun, but just wouldn’t smile for the camera.  My batteries were dying, so I couldn’t make extra attempts.  We did about 16 miles in the railcar, and it was a good opportunity to road test some recent adjustments.  All went well, and the rain held off until we were off the rails.

One of THOSE days, or the Value of Doing It Right The First Time

The weather was forecast to be nice today, so I was eager to get the motorcar out for a run on the Cotton Valley rails. Yesterday I installed my foot clutch conversion. The hardest part was drilling the hole in the tunnel for the shaft to pass through.

The hand clutch lever had a return spring which appeared to be aftermarket. I didn’t really need it on the pedal, but I didn’t have a cotter pin handy so I reinstalled the spring in the hole.

Today when I got to Fernald, the battery was low on the car, probably as a result of the excessive turntable usage yesterday while working underneath. I was forced to attempt a push-start; no fun with a cold Onan. (Memo to self: jumper cables, and charge the battery before going out.)

After multiple attempts which served to prime the carburetor, the engine finally caught. As I slammed the clutch pedal down to allow the engine to idle, my foot slipped off. The spring caused the pedal to fly through almost 270 degrees, slapping the battery switch to Off and shearing the key.

No problem. I can quickly rewire the battery to bypass the switch. The second push-start was quick and fairly easy, but now it wasn’t charging. Cutting the battery circuit with the engine running is a bad thing.

In the end, my laziness with the cotter pin cost me a blown alternator and a broken battery switch, not to mention today’s ride.

And therein lies the Value of Doing It Right The First Time. Everything’s back together and seems OK now, and the darn spring has been removed.

(Edit: Another motorcar operator pointed out that the weight of the pedal alone could be detrimental to my clutch throwout bearing. I’ve since replaced the spring with a properly-sized one, and installed a more robust battery switch. A pedal stop will be forthcoming as well.)

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