How hard would it be to outfit a bus with a High Railer?

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How hard would it be to outfit a bus with a High Railer?
Posted by Anonymous on Wednesday, April 16, 2008 12:08 PM

and use them on a light denisty freight line?

somewhere this has been tried

Yes I know we would need a FRA exception...

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Posted by erikem on Wednesday, April 16, 2008 11:55 PM

Perhaps something like the 1954 Mack Rail Bus on page 14 of Carstens Loco 1 -- The Diesel?

The RGS Galloping Geese were an earlier version of this idea. 

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Posted by artpeterson on Thursday, April 17, 2008 9:52 AM

Red Arrow Lines (Phila Suburban) had outfitted a GMC New Look with high-rail equipment in the mid-60s, with the intent of converting one of their rail lines.  But the effort when no further than the demonstration stage.

Twenty or so years later, British Leyland sent their railbus demo over to the US, but this was really a bus-type body on railroad wheels, as opposed to retaining the rubber tires and just fitting the bus with high-rail equipment.  The vehicle design is based on the "Pacers" which were used in the UK on some of the lighter-density lines.  Art

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Posted by CSSHEGEWISCH on Thursday, April 17, 2008 10:09 AM
Houston North Shore (an MP subsidiary) had about a half-dozen railcars that were Twin Coach city buses fitted with steel wheels to replace the tires.
The daily commute is part of everyday life but I get two rides a day out of it. Paul
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Posted by paulsafety on Saturday, April 19, 2008 3:04 PM

Here's a bus "hi-railing" at shore line trolley museum:


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Posted by MStLfan on Saturday, April 19, 2008 4:05 PM

Probably not quite what you were thinking of but still an interesting experiment was the German Schi-Stra-Bus (Schiene-Strasse-Bus, or rail-road-bus), it was not much of a success. A bogie was needed under its front end to run on track part of its journey. The rear was also supported by a bogie but the rear wheels of the bus made contact with the rails. 15 were built in the 1950's and the last was taken out of service in 1967. Scroll to just below the middle. It is the red bus in the roundhouse of Bochum-Dahlhausen museum.

Here are some more pictures of this beast:


Marc Immeker

For whom the Bell Tolls John Donne From Devotions upon Emergent Occasions (1623), XVII: Nunc Lento Sonitu Dicunt, Morieris - PERCHANCE he for whom this bell tolls may be so ill, as that he knows not it tolls for him; and perchance I may think myself so much better than I am, as that they who are about me, and see my state, may have caused it to toll for me, and I know not that.
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Posted by b&ofan on Wednesday, April 30, 2008 10:56 AM

The biggest problem encountered in all these experiments with HiRailers (Made by Fairmont Railway Motors in Minnesota) was that of traction. Only one of each of the rear tires could contact the rails, and the fronts were clear of the track. Thus, there was only a small footprint to the rails, and the whole thing proved very slippery both accelerating and braking, and horribly so in wet weather or with any other contaminant on the rail surfaces. Far from being successful, they tended to be unable to keep schedules and to climb much in the way of gradients under less-than-ideal rail conditions. Red Arrow decided in a matter of a few weeks that this was not the magic bullet they were seeking, and abandoned the project. I'm very surprised to see that any of these buses survived intact, as shown in the photograph in another posting. That unit is identical to the ones the Red Arrow tried. Interesting concept and machines, though!

Regards: Tom Fairbairn 

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