Helmut-this is about as close as I can get from the copy I have of the historic photo: It does look like an early internal combustion loco, which is interesting as use of small locomotives on the plantations is not well documented, and secondly, the thought of going over the un-ballasted decauville track is a little frightening. Even with just the weight of our 4-wheel car the sections of track would flop up in the air and move 2-3 inches after our passing. Decauville track is not by any means sturdy
Last edited on Wed Dec 10th, 2014 08:06 pm by elminero67
So onward we went-our little pony of dubious pedigree pulled the cart at a much faster speed than I would have thought-or enjoyed... that is, until we got to the first hill. At that point our driver once again encouraged the horse with his whip, which looked like a small cat-o-nine tails, but the horse was not impressed. He was going to go up the grade at his leisure regardless of verbal or physical consequence:
Then came the downgrade. Our little truk clackety-clacked over the 120 year old track at a spirited pace-the little horse was forced to outrun us at a fast gallup, as the truks are not equipped with brakes. As we were picking up speed, I couldn't help but notice that the front wheel was alarming out of round, and not surprisingly, a short time later our truk left the rails and headed towards the jungle:
Now, I'm neither a "horse whisperer" nor a horse psychologist, but based on his reaction, this was a very normal occurrence. He immediately set about finding some grass and viewed it as an opportunity to take a break. In the next 200-300 meters he would enjoy the opportunity to take several breaks, as the little truk and its wonky wheel left the track on several occasions.
Heres a couple pics of the Decauville track. Decauville track was light duty, prefabricated track (much like the old Tyco sectional track) that allowed for quick construction and became widely popular on mining, plantation and light industrial plants around the world, but never achieved wide acceptance in the U.S.A.
It's hard to say how much Decauville track is still in service worldwide, I suspect not a lot. All along the right of way I could see abandoned spurs, switches and sections discarded in the encroaching jungle-I suspect enough for Charlie to construct his tramway all the way from Beatty to Tonopah! Heck, he could probable lasso some of them feral burros running around Nevada and recruit them for motive power...
The lokey resembles aPlymouth AL type..lokey quite alot..yer friction drive types..quite early..gaz rigs..
Thanks huge for the foto tour..how cool is that..?..I asks ya...
This genre of railway is right up my alley..we do have burro's here , they roam the town..tourists are impressed..we think it a matter of course now..name them..fedd them doggy bisquits..etc etc..I pondered lassoing one for press gang lokey duty..