Standard Handcar Assembly Instructions and Plans
What started as a simple handcar assembly manual morphed into a detailed 126 page examination of the standard railroad handcar. While the book was intended to be an instruction and assembly manual for building our handcar kits, it was expanded to include dimensioned plans for every part included in the kit in the instance the reader prefers to build their own car from scratch without purchasing our kit. Detailed wood plans show you how to cut your lumber, along with tips for efficiently building your car. The book also includes history text and numerous historical photos. Professionally printed on heavy gloss paper and spiral wire bound for convenient referencing.
Shipping USA $4.95, Canada $15, all other international $25
We previously sold complete handcar kits but those sets have sold out. We have some limited parts available for sale and we offer fully assembled handcars. We sell plan books for those looking to build their own handcars using their own materials.
We have a limited number of cast iron parts available for sale for those wanting to build a handcar without having to machine parts. These parts were copied from a Sheffield 1890 era handcar and are interchangeable for Kalamazoo handcars. We have extremely limited numbers of these parts, in most cases enough for two cars. These are raw parts from the foundry and require some cleanup and finishing.
Gear set, comes with two gears: $2000
Brake system (does not include pivot rods or spring): $525
Pivot rock boxes for pump handle: $400
Axle bearings, 4 bearings included, requires bronze: $500
Tension rod brackets, 10 total castings included: $400
Crankshaft bearings, requires babbitt 2 bearings included: $300
Pump handle, Sheffield wrought iron style: $450
Set of four spun metal rims for handcars (no centers or hubs, not for railbike use): $700
Kalamazoo handcar in action on the Nevada Northern Railway.
Double cone tapered Timken style roller bearings for optimal performance
Correct 3.27:1 gear ratio
18-1/2” diameter drive gear made to exact specifications from an iron casting with precision machine cut teeth
6” diameter pinion gear machined from steel
Cast Iron Walking beam
Axles CNC machined from 1-1/2” diameter 1045 Carbon steel
Steel wheel rims made from 3/16” thick steel
Many parts have their original casting number cast on them
Bronze connector rod bearings
Babbitt crankshaft bearings
Dozens of iron castings
Many CNC machined and formed parts
No aluminum parts! We only use the materials that were originally available in the early 20th century.
Hickory dowels for pump handle for display use only... $80 For safety consideration we do not sell wood pump handles for actual use as hidden defects could be present.
Optional floor mounted warning bell.... $125
Optional authentic handcar crankshaft bearing without babbit.... FREE SUBSTITUTION We have authentic castings of original crankshaft bearings that we will substitute for the off the shelf Royersford Foundry babbit bearings we supply with our kit. However, you will need to pour babbit and bore them.
We offer wood centered wheel building services. The price per wheel is $500 (includes delivery) for customer supplied wheels. The price does not include painting.
Handcars kits are shipped in a custom built crate.
Packed away neatly are all components needed to build a handcar except lumber.
Sales Tax applied for California purchases.
Fully Assembled Handcars
We offer fully assembled handcars at the starting price of $15,000. We recently had to increase our cost because the cost of lumber has doubled in early 2018, and steel prices have increased 20%. Architectural handcars fabricated from tropical weather resisting wood is available and start at $30,000.
Upgraded cars coated in polyurethane automotive paint and architectural feature cars are available for additional costs. Contact us for more information about acquiring a built to order handcar.
Delivery time for a fully assembled handcar varies from three to nine months depending upon the complexity of the request. To get started I require 50% down, and the remainder at or before delivery. I can ship around the country, but there is a $600 crating charge in addition to shipping fees charged by the shipper. You can pick up the car from me, or I deliver with my trailer if you are within 400 miles from Santa Clarita, California. Shipping weight is about 900 pounds. Common carrier shipping across the USA ranges between $1000-$1200. International shipping vary $1500-$3000 depending upon destination. Of note post-covid it has been challenging to locate international shipping.
Crated car ready for shipping. This car was delivered to the Chicago area by YRC for a cost of $1500