This is a one of a kind! Believed to have built for the 1939 New York World's Fair. The craftsmanship in this train is incredible with lots of authentic details. Do not compare this trackless train to one of today's trackless trains that are just plastic bodies over an existing chassis with no detail to an authentic train and no moving parts.
This train was constructed completely from scratch, out of metal. Items like the wheels, boiler nose and other accessories are all hand cast. Unlike today's trains, the rear wheels are constructed of a heavy cast iron and designed to simulate the style and movement of the driving wheel of a genuine steam train. The connecting rods off the wheels move back and forth simulating the actions made by a steam locomotive's pistons. Instead of an air-filled tire, the wheels received a hard solid rubber tire to retain an original look. Some of the other details include a steel cow catcher, simulated boiler hinges and rivets, working lantern with hand bent metal scrolling, a real train whistle, brass bell, authentic gauges, conductors cab and more. The engines exhaust exits out the trains stack to simulate the exhaust of a real train.
This train was restored in the late 1970's, early 1980's. At that time the original flat-head Ford V8 engine and 3 speed transmission were removed and replaced with an updated, more reliable Chevrolet 350 engine and automatic transmission. A power brake booster was also added at that time.
We purchased this train because of its uniqueness, and antique qualities, to be a people mover during our summer train tours. After we purchased the train we did our own updating to make it reliable and user friendly. We increased the fuel capacity by adding a 20 gallon custom made fuel tank, rewired and upgraded the charging system with a high capacity alternator and dual batteries. We added dual air max 480 compressors to operate the original train whistle, which can be heard a ¼ mile away, and the dual trumpet air horns. We got all the gauges working so we could monitor the mechanics. A 7 way trailer harness was added and can be used for lights, speakers or electric brakes in the passenger car.
This train served its purposes here at the museum and was a joy to operate. The passenger seat in the cab swivels, making it easy for a tour guide to talk to the passengers. With all of the updates, it does not require someone with driving expertise to operate it. The only reason we are retiring it from use is because we extended our tours and now travel over a soft surface. Because of the weight and design of this train, it is meant for hard surfaces only. Not only does this train make a great piece for giving tours, it's also an exciting, historic, item that is worthy of a cosmetic restoration to be on display in a museum or private collection.