Trackmobile in Memphis

Discussion in 'The Real Thing- North America' started by cidchase, Jun 5, 2005.

  1. cidchase

    cidchase Active Member

    Saw one of these Friday nite pushing some tank cars near the plant.

    In was wondering how much they weighed to get good traction.
    Looking on their website, I read that they have a "weight transfer
    system" that raises their coupler borrowing up to 96,000 lbs of weight
    from the first car that they are coupled to. Thought that was a neat idea!
  2. Dave Flinn

    Dave Flinn Member

    I have actually seen a couple of these beasts in operation once or twice; but I really have no idea of their "capacities and capabilities". I wouldn't think they would normally try to use them to move more than two cars at a time, at the most, although I could be mistaken. I would say that this picture shows a relatively modern one; but I have seen both old and new versions; and, in fact, I think I may have read somewhere that they were more prevalent in the past than they are today -- but that may just be rumor.
  3. railohio

    railohio Active Member

    The grain elevator in Hamler, Ohio has two different models of 'em. I just call 'em the "big Trackmobile" and "little Trackmobile." I've seen crews move seven loaded grain hoppers with the big one but when they try it with the small one they only seem to bump and hop along about a foot at a time. Wish I knew what model they were but I can probably post photos next weekend if I can get down there to photograph them.
  4. shortliner

    shortliner Member

    Brian - I'll be interested to see them if you can photo them - I believe OMI made a brass model in HO at a VERY expensive price - don't know if it is powered though
    Shortliner (Jack)away up here in the Highlands
  5. railohio

    railohio Active Member

    One of 'em is pictured on page 11 of the Jan/Feb/Mar 2005 issue of The Railroad Press. From the photo I can't tell which one it is, though...
  6. shortliner

    shortliner Member

    A couple of pics of a model one appeared recently on
    Shortliner(Jack)away up here in the Highlands
  7. Trackmobile

    Trackmobile New Member

    Trackmobiles come in a wide range of sizes, the smallest being powered by a small "Willy's Jeep" 4 cyl. gas engine, but, with the use of the weight-transfer coupler, it can still move 2 to 3 rail cars (100 ton each). The largest model, the TM5500 has a 400 hp diesel and can move over 50 cars in ideal perfect conditions .....meaning straight, level, dry track. The maximum ratings are achieved using two couplers if so equipped ......meaning a loaded railcar at each end.

    But with "real world" conditions (curves, steep grade, crappy track) and using only one coupler (because of the convenience) ......I've struggled with 15 cars using a TM5500 .....but other times have pulled over 40 with ease (100 ton railcars)

    Here are 3 different models. I have several other pics as well as specs. and dimensions if someone needs them.

    The first one is the 400 hp TM5500
    The second is TM9 with a 4-53 Detroit Diesel
    The third is a TM2 with the Willy's gas engine

    Attached Files:

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