Rail inspection wagons, trucks and sedans have been used by railways from the very early years of the automobile right up to current times. The conversions were quick and cheap to the railways to build and send out on safety inspections or to take crews down line for repairs, upgrades or routine maintenance. Some were even used toe transport works to mine sites and the like, on small railway systems.
Most early version like this ’41 Ford used custom railway wheels which simply bolted to the hubs, These days they have hydraulically-operated wheel assemblies which drop down and allow both on-rail and on-road driving. Today, you will see Chevy and Ford trucks most commonly used for these operations.
This ’41 Ford Station Wagon is not by any means the only one. There were other woody railway conversions and I’ll find some more in the near future to include in this blog. In the past railways used all sorts of vehicles and it was common sight worldwide. There has even been Packards, Buicks and a few Cadillacs conversions in the past.
For more on this wonderfully odd piece of automotive railway history check out this site: