Discussion relating to the PRR, up to 1968. Visit the PRR Technical & Historical Society for more information.
  by Pensyfan19
 
Anyone know what this railcar was and what/where it was used for? I bet it's a maintenance vehicle but it looks interesting.

https://digital.hagley.org/islandora/ob ... ra:2364362

https://digital.hagley.org/islandora/ob ... ra:2365376
  by Pensyfan19
 
So I'm guessing this is a baggage car, maintenance vehicle? Anyone have any info on this..?
  by Allen Hazen
 
In the side view, there is lettering on the letterboard (just below the roof)... that I can't make out: it doesn't LOOK as if it says "Pennsylvania".
On the other hand... 4-4-0 wheel arrangement and jackshaft drive looks like PRR mechanical department thinking at the time of their first electric and internal-combustion experimentals.
The site the photo is from... has an index with minimal, and not always accurate, information. Alas.
  by TrainDetainer
 
The letterboard says 'MacPherson' and the sides are lettered Baggage and Express. Nothing other than that drive train (and the Hagley collection page) says anything PRR about it to me. I don't think it would be much of a stretch to say it was just an early attempt at reducing branch line costs, a-la an early doodlebug.
  by Pensyfan19
 
TrainDetainer wrote: Fri May 29, 2020 4:39 am The letterboard says 'MacPherson' and the sides are lettered Baggage and Express. Nothing other than that drive train (and the Hagley collection page) says anything PRR about it to me. I don't think it would be much of a stretch to say it was just an early attempt at reducing branch line costs, a-la an early doodlebug.
Interesting to know! Thank you.
  by Allen Hazen
 
The side-view photo is on "Pinterest" (I found it by searching "Macpherson motor car) with the blurb
"MacPherson gasoline motor baggage car used on the Pennsylvania Railroad on March 28, 1914"
and something about "Steven Allen's" favourite PRR photos. ????
At a guess, then, Macpherson was an inventor/developer/manufacturer, whose claim that his 4-4-0 rail motor would provide, as Train Detainer says, a way of reducing branch line costs was plausible enough that the PRR invited the demonstrator for a demonstration visit. (And, since we haven't heard anything about it otherwise, sent it right back: there were, I suspect, many unsuccessful efforts at designing rail motor cars. By 1914, GE had a usable design of gas-electric on the market: I don't know if PRR bought any of theirs, but they would have known about them, and wouldn't have bought something that seemed inferior to them. I can't tell from the photo exactly what sort of transmission the car had, but at a guess it was straight mechanical, and mechanical transmissions for gasoline-engined rail vehicles don't have a happy history.)