Fairmont engine | May 21, 2007

Anyone remember those old cartoons where characters would jump on a platform that rode on train tracks and pushed a lever up and down to make it go, usually in an effort to make an escape that inevitably failed? Anyone know what those platforms are called? This engine belongs to the more modern, gas-powered version of the same thing. I guess the level-powered version made for a more desperate escape. Those were good times.


comment by Gary on May 22, 2007, 4:54 AM

It is a handcar.

comment by Laszlo Baranyai on May 22, 2007, 5:07 AM

That type of vehicle is called "draisine", but has several other names depending on the construction. The name is very different in Finland (resiina) and Hungary (hajtány).

comment by Chris Coyier on May 23, 2007, 8:47 AM

My favorite scene with one of those handcars (or whatever) is in Blazing Saddles when they drive it into a pit of quicksand.

Charlie: Hey Bart, is it me or is the world rising?
Bart: I don't know, but whatever it is, I hate it.

comment by Kheoh Yee Wei on May 23, 2007, 10:55 AM

Great shot,i always like this kind of photos :D

comment by crash on May 23, 2007, 12:12 PM

i love Blazing Saddles! i was just going to mention that scene!

comment by 24by36 on May 26, 2007, 9:40 PM

Thank you Gary and Laszlo for the info. I did a bit more digging and found that the motorized versions are called "railcars", but these days they drive a specially-equipped pickup on the tracks.

Chris/Crash: I haven't seen Blazing Saddles but I just may have to now...

say something nice

Sorry, comments closed.