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Speeder Day at Seashore
Speeder Day at Seashore is a new event for the museum. Perhaps you are wondering, “what’s a speeder?”. Well, it is a person driving in excess of posted speed limits. But that’s not what we are talking about here. A speeder is a gas (or diesel) powered vehicle formerly used on railroads around the world by track inspectors and work crews to move quickly to and from work sites. Also know as a railway motor car, putt-putt, track-maintenance car, crew car or inspection car. They are now used by hobbyists to cruise along active (with permission) or abandoned (but maintained) railroad lines.
Speeders come in a variety of sizes and designs. They can be open or enclosed. Really small or somewhat large. They can be powered by gasoline or diesel. People who own them may choose to leave them very “bare bones” or outfit them with many creature comforts. Plush seats, heat, two way radios and intercoms are not uncommon amenities. Some are even equipped with hydraulic, turntable lifts for lifting the car from the track and allow it to be spun in the reverse direction.
On Speeder Day at Seashore (Saturday, June 6th) we will be joined by some regional speeder enthusiasts from the Cotton Valley Rail Trail Club. These volunteers are happy to provide our guests with an experience that falls somewhere between riding our streetcars and our pump car. Honestly… closer to the pump car. We are not sure what assortment of “speeders” the club will bring but our plan is to run cars on both the Mainline and the Butler Grove lead. The mainline run will provide a sense of what railroad maintenance crews experienced decades ago.
If you want a taste of the speeder experience but don’t think you want to go all the way to Talbot Park the Butler Grove route may be more your speed-er. Maybe you’ll even decide you want a speeder of your own. Hint: They are more affordable than owning your own trolley. The speeder folks love their hobby and will be happy to regale you with many anecdotes of how they enjoy the rails! Join us as Seashore broadens its offering of unique railroad experiences with a ride on an authentic “Speeder”.
These rides will be available with only a request of a “free-will” offering. All donations received will go toward the renovation of our own B&M 500 work car (speeder). This car at present is not in terrible shape and we have a team of volunteers anxious to get it running again. It would make a very interesting addition to our stable of operating cars. Not to mention being very different from what usually runs up and down the mainline.