motorcar web pic


Welcome to our web site and we hope everyone has good and safe time on the rails!


Reminder:  RMD membership fees ($15/person) are now due and may be sent to Secretary/Treasurer John Spiro  •  11485 Dallas Rd.   •   Peyton, CO  80831

What are those little cars on the railroad track?

The proper name of this vehicle is a Railway Motorcar. It is also known as a “track inspection car”, “railcar”, “track car” and “putt-putt” (for the noise the early one-cylinder two-cycle motors made).

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The motorcar was used for inspection and light maintenance of track and signals maintenance. Inspection and section-gang type motorcars weigh as little as 600 lbs. while gang cars can weigh up to 4500 pounds or more.

Speeders at Wasson on CB

Now railroads are using highway vehicles that have been adapted to run on rail, called hi-rails, in place of the motorcar.  So, many motorcars have been sold as surplus, ending up in the hands of hobbyists such as the members of the Rocky Mountain Division (RMD) of NARCOA.  NARCOA (North American Rail Car Operators Association) is our national organization, which can be visited here.