The first question to answer here before getting started is to understand what is a railcar mover? A rail car mover is a type of vehicle used for transporting equipment related to the railroads in various complexes.

You can easily find that the creators of these railcar mover machines will make sure that they can move these vehicles on regular roads on the rail itself. Those in the industry require these machines because they are powerful and robust enough to move various freight cars simultaneously.

You will also notice that many of them will come with four durable rubber-oriented wheels and wheels to move around on rails. Further, they will come with couplers as well.

These machines are useful because they are more cost-effective and provide more flexibility overall. As noted above, these rail car mover machines will have the right flexibility because they work on rails and traditional roads as well.

These railcar movers are now present in places that range from workshops to grain elevators and other areas.

Locomotives: The History of the Rail Car Mover

The earliest railcar movers were conceived in the 17th century. In essence, traveling in the first series of railcar movers was described as uncomfortable, less practical, and accompanied by various dangers. 

Historical studies depict the first railcar movers as automobiles built by carriage makers that took the form of coaches mounted on four-wheel railroad wagons. In particular, passengers in the railcar movers of the 17th century endured their journeys by riding inside the coach. In other instances, benches were mounted on top of the couches to accommodate more passengers.

Most of the railcar movers used in the 1830s used chains and chain-links to couple the trucks together, leaving slacks (about 2 to 3 feet in length). The locomotives held the slack by specific jerk movements, which offered the right amount of torque to move the passengers.

Since automobile technology was at its crudest age, most early railcar movers strongly depended on coal as the primary source of power. Worrisomely, the trucks lacked effective smoke catchers mounted on the chimneys. Therefore, the passengers were forced to endure the volumes of black smoke that poured along the whole length of the rail cars.

Early railcar movers were termed day coaches since most of their operations were conducted during the day. Most of the trips were short-range to accommodate day travel only. Most travelers proffered taking short trips since railcar travel in the early 1830s was uncomfortable. There wasn’t a distinction of classes in the early railcar movers. Therefore, people from all walks of life would take trips together.

A Little Advancement- Mid Age Railcar Movers

The railcar movers industry took a significant turnaround in the 1840s. At this time, most of the railcar operators had seen the need to evolve their services with class distinctions. As a result, passengers in the mid-age were categorized as first, second, and at times a third class. Third-class passengers were majorly immigrants who may not have had the best conditions since their coaches were only furnished with wooden benches along the walls.

Most of the mid-age railcar movers traveled for long distances and hours to cover the increasing economic demands to transport farm products from plantations to industrial states. At this time, governments had made massive investments in rail construction. They knew they needed to improve the hours of slow travel and make sure that efficient transportation took place at the time.

In these times, railcar mover operators would rely on their railcar moving equipment and the right processes in their railcar switching operation to improve their business.

Mid-age railcar movers made exemplary efforts to make their coaches more comfortable. For instance, most of the railcar construction companies upholstered the seats.

However, the coaches presented with many structural challenges like inadequate heating and ventilation systems, poor ceiling, and underdeveloped suspensions, making the rides less pleasant. But the industry had to evolve as more people expected better conditions for their dollars.

Nonetheless, investors increased their interests in the railcar industry with time, and passengers were presented with improved designs and better services.

Railcar Movers in the 1850s, 1860s & 1870s

The railcar industry saw a significant boost in the 1850s. The sector had seen extensive rail constructions which lengthened the travel distances. In this era, the Pullman sleeping railcar movers were introduced to make the long travels more comfortable.

The Pullman cars later introduced the idea of including dedicated attendants meant to make up beds and assist passengers as railcars had emerged as luxurious forms of travel.

Dining cars were later introduced in the 1860s to accommodate long-range travelers. However, the dining cars were considered extremely expensive and impractical but emerged as a common means of travel in the 1880s. Most of the dining car operators and brands maintained them into the 20th century, only as a convenience. They did so to improve their business and make sure that they targeted their consumer base with convenient options whenever possible.

The Evolution of Specialty Railcar Movers

The post-1880s era was accompanied by massive evolution (both mechanical and technological) in the railcar industry. It is during this period that specialty railcar movers were presented to the industry.

Remember, most of the early railcar makers placed baggage and passengers in the same car. However, specialty railcars like mailbag catchers were specially designed to transport sorted mail, and refrigerator railcars were explicitly meant to cool shipments. In contrast, stock cars were meant to carry pets and animals.

In essence, most of the specialty cars were only meant to establish and maintain the railroad amenities. For instance, specialty cars like weed burners, dump cars, dump sprinklers, and snowplows were explicitly set aside to support the rail tracks and roadbeds.

On the other hand, railroad inspectors used hand cars to inspect the mechanical works and check the track works. Similarly, clearance cars were meant to create space was used to create space between the tracks and tunnel walls.

Modern Mobile Railcar Movers

Modern railcar movers show the essence of technology in the rail industry. Most of the contemporary railcar movers embody sophisticated technologies in their structural compositions. For instance, present-day cars have evolved from rudimentary coal powering systems to adopt diesel, petrol, gas, and electric power systems. They are more comfortable, highly convenient, and well-timed compared to the other forms of railcar movers.

Reach Out To Us Today

If you are looking for help with your equipment, tractive effort, rental units, railcar mover opportunities, and other matter related to your rail car equipment or machine, reach out to Railquip today. We are pleased to provide you with our various services for your needs.