Weird and wonderful trains

I get sent tons and tons of videos and all kinds of stuff. Some of it weird and wonderful.

I do my best to keep the posts model train related – but as you will have found out, some time I can’t resist posting something ‘off piste’ (especially when there’s a rant brewing).

Anyhow, I came across this. I thought it too long to post, but then seeing as it grabbed me all the way through, thought I’d share.

Now, can anyone tell me what the engine is 2 mins 19 secs in?

And if anyone has any info on the jet powered trains, please share (I’d seen the propeller ones before, but jets? Wow).

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Weird and wonderful ebay cheat sheet is here.

Keep ’em coming.



55 Responses to Weird and wonderful trains

  1. FUNTASTIC !!!!

  2. CN 55697 is a snow plough

  3. Your vehicle at 2.19 mins is a snow plough, a double-header prototype by the looks of it..

  4. Very entertaining, thanks for sharing! If I should now feel the desire to “steam punk” something on my layout I know have a couple prototypes to point to.

  5. What a grand selection of designs. Terrific and I wish they were still running. Thanks to those who created this video.

  6. Great video. Imagine some of these in model form :)

  7. Very cool video

  8. What a video..BRILLIANT!!!!!
    Thanks for sharing it with us.

  9. Hi Al,
    It’s not a locomotive, but an experimental snow blower.
    Ray Thomason

  10. 2.19 looks like a two way snow plough for Canadian Railways
    No turntable available. Clear one way then push back along the same line.

  11. Awesome video, those were great pictures of a time not so long ago. Would have loved to see the N&W Class J thought. The only one remaining is fully restored and in Roanoke, Va at the N&W Museum, given to the people of Roanoke as a gift from N&W. Thanks again for the video!

  12. Holly cow can you amagine how much weight is put on them track with some of those loco’s.Some had a strange oncept of a modern day bomber even before it came really injoyed seeing those monsters from the past.thanks tons going to go watch it again.thanks Al

  13. AWESOME!!!!

  14. Well worth watching,well done with thanks. Peter Benson SNETTISHAM Norfolk UK.

  15. AWESOME!!!!!

  16. Thanks Al for posting this video. Fantastic machines and what imagination some people have! Well worth keeping this. Don’t feel shy to post other non model trains videos its always good to see other wierd, wonderful and bizarre things to do with trains. Just wish steam was still going!

  17. Al. No need to apologize for this video. It’s a treasure trove of locomotive history. Given the hyper-talented model railroaders whose work I have seen thanks to you I will not be surprised if one or more folks recreate one of these other worldly locomotives!!

    Keep ’em coming! And thanks.

    John Bos

  18. Loved it, fantastic selection of the weird and wonderful!

  19. Hi Al’ This is really cool. Too bad there isn’t some method to identify all of them. Some have captions attached but not very many.
    Did anyone notice on the segment on the PRR 4-4-4-4 that the front set of drivers at 9.05 are turning much faster than the rear set? What could cause this, the drivers are different diameter (not too logical in my old decrepit mind,) or could it be a lack of traction? It would be interesting to know.

  20. This was fantastic. Loved every minute of it. I was glued to the screen.

  21. Hi Al, As above people have said, The rail vehicle at 2mins 19 in is a snow plough and here’s the official description

    Pictures of CN 55697
    Owner: Canadian National Railways
    Type: Snow Plow
    AAR Class: MWK: Snow-removing Car. A car equipped with any special device for removing snow from between or alongside of rails.
    AAR Type: M310
    Detail Info: Misc Cars

    Page Controls View: Grid List Pics Per Page: 10 20 30 40 50 100
    Title: CN 55697
    Photo Date: 3/12/2006 Upload Date: 3/16/2006 8:09:52 PM
    Location: Winnipeg, MB
    Author: ?
    Categories: RollingStock
    Views: 572 Comments: 0


    Page 1 of 1

  22. one loco is a Fairlie’s patent. Some of the trains are converted trucks and cars. Plus early locos. some were experiments.

  23. Truly weird and wonderful! Great video. Had never seen most of these examples before. Very worthwhile, and a lot o fun to watch. Thanks for posting!

  24. So glad you decided to post this video – wonderful! So curious about them – time to do some research :-)


  26. AWESOME!!!!!

  27. Enjoyed very much, thanks Al.

  28. Al
    What a brilliant video ,crazy but awesome,love it

  29. Nice to see some of those Old beauty`s

  30. I enjoyed that very much. Keep the wierd and wonderful coming. Inspiration for things to make.

  31. WOW is all I can say about most of them. The American Steam was very nice to see. But the concepts, What an imagination and thinking out of the box.

  32. Thoroughly enjoyed this video – both times. Thanks Al – for the re-run through history. ‘Weird and WONDER-ful”. Maybe a collection of ‘speeders’ would be appreciated too ?

  33. Great decision to post the video, the music had me tapping my foot. Most of my models are replicas of the real thing. Bet many of the locomotives would sell if manufactured as models. Thanks for the post.

  34. Surely the “loco” at 2 min 19 sec is a double-ended snow plow

  35. It is not an engine. It is a double ended snow plow.

  36. I love the video it was totally cool even the music

  37. Hi, Al, Great video, a few side notes there are 2 or 3 of the Yellowstone locomotives preserved and on display in northeastern Minnesota, U. S. The one inside the railroad museum at Duluth is elevated just a hair above the track and has electric motors to turn the wheels for the display. The Union Pacific Big Boys of which 25 were built, 8 were preserved and now Union Pacific bought back the 4014 from Pomona, California and is going to restore it to operating condition. It will be amazing to see this giant locomotive run again, I work for Union Pacific as an engineer so I will keep everyone posted as to the progress of the Big Boy restoration, Jim


  39. That was fascinating. I had no idea that there were so many enormous ( and definitely unwieldy) engine built! I’ll bet most of them were one-onlys’!

  40. The McKeen railcar . Two petrol rail-motors were purchased by the Victorian Railways in Australia from the McKeen Company of Omaha U.S.A in 1911 and went into service on 13 May 1912. Each car carried 72 passengers. After about 3 years they were withdrawn from traffic. In 1919 the engines were removed and the cars converted to ordinary passenger train use. They were scrapped in the 1920’s

  41. Double ended snow plough. Hitched to engine saves a lot of marshalling.

    The Swiss snow clearing/blowing engine seems not to have much protection for the driver/fireman! Especially considering the conditions it is designed to tackle.

    Thanks for the amazing compilation. It took me twice as long to get through because I had to stop an look at almost every example.


  42. Has anyone photo or film of Crosti boilered class 9 locos experimented in UK towards end of steam? Would love to see with regard to adapting/modelling my own version.

  43. A steam engine at 8,000 hp ? that is some awesome power!

  44. Some observations… Just following the snowplow is a DB switcher that I believe was used in Berlin but do not quote me on that. There is also a picture of the Fontaine locomotive that is a very curious bicycle type with a driven wheel located above the driver. As to Jet powered trains… I do not remember if this video shows the jet powered RDC car that was used for a speed run on the New York Central. M183 or something like that. It did set a record and paved the way for later and faster trains that run on standard gauge track and not Brunel gauge.

  45. As to the Pennsylvania 4-4-4-4, the beast was notoriously slippery. Lots of power but not so good in the traction department.

  46. Great

  47. I belive this is not a jet engine, but a train made by Genral Motors in 1959.
    I seen this engine at Dayton, Ohio in 1959 at a open house at Delco products
    a General Motor plant there.

  48. Sorry for the mistake there is a Jet engine. Lionel did make a model of one.
    But I don’t know when or what it is called or who made the real one.

  49. We had ran into each other at a local Milblog conference a colpue years ago. It is a good idea though.Maybe I try and arrange something after our home search is over.

  50. Very interesting indeed. I can understand about the length of the video might being an issue but it is well worth it.

  51. Wonderful! Is there nothing that hasn’t been tried?

  52. very interesting video love them old locomotive thou too bad someone no make them or them not ho scaleits the first loco i seen of back during ww1 and 2 the first one for germany tooi enjoyed watching your videos the sound was great too
    thanks for the memorys lol

  53. excuce my typing and spelling as aint the greatest at lol

  54. Wonderful video. As to your jet engine question, the New York Central (NYC) experimented with using jet engines for passenger service. They mounted 2 Pratt &Whitney engines on a Budd rail diesel car some time in the late 1950s. There is an article published in the NYC historical society magazine about the experiments. I believe Boeing also installed jet turbine engines that were tested by U..S. DOT and actually saw revenue service on the East coast under Amtrak auspices. under the label Turbo train

  55. Thank you for publishing this. I couldn’t it down.

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