Large Scale Central

All Things Weird and Wonderful

There’s a Facebook group called Abandoned Rails which I flip through as occasionally something interesting pops up. This contraption appeared recently.

Gunnison Alpine Contractors

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Necessity is the mother of invention, a half truck/half train. In the early 80s GAC had contracts to tear up old rail lines all over the Midwest and Deep South. This often meant moving a lot, weather it meant down the rails or down the road. Originally bought for parts to help fix the rear suspension of another Kenworth, it quickly became apparent we needed a vehicle to shuttle rails down the tracks to to the transfer spots to be loaded onto other highway trucks and hauled off. So the old cab over was put back together and pressed into service as a cheap but highly effective hi-rail truck. The front axel could be swapped with the rail wheel trucks and the rear was simply chained to the rail car behind it. This truck wasn’t the first to have this radical modification, she replaced an equally unique 66 stub nose Autocar that was similarly hi railed. Her rail running days were short though, she was replaced by a true hirail FWD (former Rock Island) that sported a dump bed and grapple that worked much better in this role. Now being surplus, she was sadly traded off to a fate unknown. It’s amazing the ingenuity and imagination of Grandpa (Jim Coleman), Dad (Tom Coleman), Uncles (Dave and Rob), and the rest of the GAC crew for creating such a unusual Franken-Truck!

And the same guy posted a pic of the model.

I can just see this hauling logs on my RR(

I can see that thing hauling Mad Mx themed PLAYMOBIL on mine!

Rick Marty said:

I can just see this hauling logs on my RR(

OK. So where do we get a truck from? I’m sure I can cobble up a drive for it.

I can see that thing hauling Mad Mx themed PLAYMOBIL on mine!

Incidentally, my impression is that it has no rear rail wheels on the cab unit - the wheels just fit over the rails and the flat car keeps it aligned?

A fellow I worked with grew up in central Pennsylvania. The short lines there did not run on Sunday. As teens, he and his friends would spot one of their automobiles over the track at a grade crossing, then let some air out of each tire. He said the jalopies would stay on the rails that way. These guys would drive for miles on the track, then get off at a grade crossing near a service station and refill the tires. Perhaps something similar was done with the rear axles of the semi tractor?

Just an observation, David Meashey

David Meashey said:

A fellow I worked with grew up in central Pennsylvania.

Great place to grow up ! You never wanna leave!!

Hey Rooster;

I didn’t want to leave the Hershey area. But you grow up and go to college, and then you have to earn a living. Sometimes that “earning a living” takes folks to places they have never been before. In my case, my technical writing skills got me hired by Norfolk & Western Railway, headquartered (then) in Roanoke, Virginia. It has become “home,” but I still like returning to my old haunts. ALTHOUGH, the way Hershey tears buildings down and replaces them with others (or not) is a bit jarring whenever I return to the area! (Like the original chocolate factory and the Cocoa Inn.) I figure someday I may go back and find the Hershey Hotel gone! HersheyPark is definitely not the same as the Hershey Park I once worked in.

Oh well, Time marches on, David Meashey