Si. wrote: With some 'F Unit' streamlining; the double ended T could SHIFT !
Perhaps - perhaps not.
I suspect that a lot of gearboxes at the time were set up with 3 or 4 forward ratios - and 1 (very slow) ratio in reverse. I'm not sure that reversing boxes had yet been perfected - and there would have been little incentive to develop them for the road vehicles these railmotors were based on.
In later years, internal combustion engined rail vehicles became more commonplace - so manufacturers had to develop transmissions that worked forwards and backwards - but this would have been very much in the future.
As this wasn't an option then, a number of railways just coupled two single ended railmotors back to back - so the one at the front dragged the other one along. Well known examples include the "Ford T" and "Shefflex" style railmotors that found their way onto some of the Colonel Stephens railways:
A number of similar vehicles also found their way onto some minor railways in Ireland.
In later years, one German manufacturer came up with a slightly more developed version of this idea - with the engines, drivetrains and bonnets of two Ford AA (or BB) trucks being fitted to one chassis - and a passenger saloon in the middle. I am, of course, talking about the Wismar Railbus.
Anyway, that's enough from me. Back to the interesting stuff - the trains (especially the unusual ones) - and the photos of them.
'Deutsche Reichsbahn' and quite a few private common carriers in Germany used that type of railbus from 1932 on well into the 60's. It has a complete 'Ford' drive unit on each end and therefore no reverse gear. It was nicknamed 'The Ant-eater'
Last edited on Tue Feb 4th, 2014 05:24 pm by Helmut
Not only was a Ford T ungodly slow in reverse, but the Sandy River 2Ft master mechanic found that they overheated due to lack of air flow through the radiator when running backwards--thus the ''turntable'' that he put under at least one so that the car could be turned end for end.
Some one at the EBT years ago built a similar device for the M3, but as it wasn't attached to the car, it had to be carried inside. It still exists, large and clumsy looking in one of the open sheds up there. The M3 is heavier than a Ford T, I think.
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