Photos: Tim Cook - Velocipede Car in Permanent Way Exhibition in Buffer Depot
This three wheeled inspection bike, called a velocipede car, has engineering links to our pump trolley, vehicles which were once common on the railways for permanent way work. Built by the Sheffield Car Co., Three Rivers, Michigan, USA, it is still in their livery. This company has a complex history , with an origin in E & T Fairbanks, St Johnsbury, Vt in around 1824. One of its employees, a Charles Morse set up, a sales agency to promote the Fairbanks scale, known by 1872 as Fairbanks Morse and Co. This sales division overwhelmed the manufacturing side of the business, and it began to take over other companies, including the George S Sheffield Co., Three Rivers, Michigan, probably in 1883, though full takeover was not until 1918. It then merged with Colt Industries in 1964. The Three Rivers factory was closed in 1960.
It was known as No. 1 Velocipede Car, they were designed to be light enough to be lifted off the track quickly and easily. Our machine has wooden spoked wheels and a push away, pull towards frame, that creates the motion with linking pedals. The outboard wheel carries little weight and so tends to mount the rail on curves with uncertain consequences to the driver. Due to its geometry it will not move in the reverse direction without derailing. It was built not earlier than 1887, and is believed to be part of a batch purchased by the Great Eastern Railway.
|Origin :-||GER ?||Date Built :-||c1889||Number :-||No. 1|
|Type :-||Inspection Trolley||Builder :-||Sheffield Car Co., USA||Owner||QRS|
|Status :-||Static Exhibit||Location :-||Buffer Depot|
Text © Quainton Railway
Society / Photographs © Quainton Railway Society or referenced
Page Updated: 26 May 2010