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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 90.djvu/98

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Putting Railroad Wheels on Automobiles

How the automobile "gets there" when roads are bad and the railroads are the only means of locomotion

��OWING to the high price of steel, a railroad in Montana decided to salvage the rails of an abandoned lumber and tie road connecting the station of Nahant, Montana, with the great forests thirty-five miles to the west, now protected by the Forest Reserve Act. The transfer com- pany, which handled the salvage work, found that the problem of power was the chief obstacle. The track was in poor condition. ^ It could not stand the weight

���of a locomotive, without repairs, and in places it was almost hidden in brush.

A standard two-ton truck was purchased and equipped with a set of steel wheels with flanges for operating on rails, and then put to work. In the first month, the truck covered about three thousand three hun- dred miles. By the use of a flat car as a trailer, the truck was able to haul twelve tons of rails into Nahant each trip, making two a day. It climbed several grades as steep as seven per cent and registered an economy in operation of more than ten miles to a gallon of gasoline.

An experiment of the kind was suc- cessfully made by the private owners of forest land between Hartford and the old mining town of Monte Cristo, in the northern part of the state of Washington. Their automobile -railroad traverses great areas of forest land for fully fifty miles.

Steel wheels of standard gage to operate over railroad tracks solve the problem of bad roads in unimproved territory

��In the first picture above the automobile pas- senger truck on railroad wheels is shown. The wheels are of the standard railroad -track gage

��By the use of a flat car as a trailer the auto- mobile truck was enabled to haul twelve tons of rails on one trip. It made two trips daily

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