Hand-pumped rail cart?

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If you're really stumped for new ideas, how about having two teams build hand-pumped rail carts, the sort we use to see in the old silent movies? Buster Keaton would be so proud!


-- Chip Haynes (ehaynes@co.pinellas.fl.us), March 15, 2001


Now this would be fun to do and well within the junkyards ability to produce the parts. Some old tire rims....and so on. I think I could build this out of what's behind my old barn....GREAT IDEA....ken

-- Ken Sklorenko (the3rdwits@yahoo.com), March 15, 2001.

I like this idea, except for the hand pumped part. Challenges which involve physical tests of endurance (these carts in a race) reduce the emphasis placed on the machines.


-- Max (Maxel@inwindsor.com), March 15, 2001.

I'd be pumped!...dynamic idea to fabricate and compete.

-- Paul Dryer (panther_prototypes@hotmail.com), March 16, 2001.

Yes, the contest would also be physical. But if you remember the episodes in which diving apparatus was made, 3 out of the 4 teams were working the butts off pumping oxygen to their diver. Only the Art Attack were smart enough to make a machine that was easy to pump and provided more than enough air. Now, if you made your rail car with the right gearing, you could pump it without having too much difficulty. It's all a matter of how you design it.

-- William Barrett (wildbill65401@yahoo.com), March 16, 2001.

Speed or payload?

-- Dan Denney (Rustrenegades@hotmail.com), March 16, 2001.

Rolling friction is very low with steel wheels on steel rails. The best machine would be the one geared for the terrain (any hills on the track?) and the internal friction of the machine like wheel bearings ect. Aerodynamics would have a part in this too, which anyone who has been on a bicycle much would know about.

-- Waddy Thompson (cthomp3851@aol.com), March 17, 2001.

This is what we've been wanting to do for years. Human powered rail transportation. All crew members at once, switching off at the controls . When I was a kid, My grandpa, out in Wyoming, was an engineer for the railroad. He made a dune buggy that was exactly the wheel base of the railroad tracks. He used to take us out to the tracks and let some of the air out of the tires so they would hug the tracks. He would get going 60mph while not steering. Thought that was pretty cool. Railcars!!!!

-- Duane Flatmo, Art Attack (flatmo@humboldt1.com), March 17, 2001.

That works with the old model jeeps too, they have the right wheel spacing.

-- Waddy Thompson (cthomp3851@aol.com), March 17, 2001.

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