McKeen Motor Car Company Historical Society

McKeen Motor Car Company Historical Society The McKeen Car Research and Discussion Page

Here's a photo I acquired of Union Pacific M-23 believed to be in Callaway, Nebraska.  M-23 was built in May of 1915, we...
06/22/2019

Here's a photo I acquired of Union Pacific M-23 believed to be in Callaway, Nebraska. M-23 was built in May of 1915, weighed 37 tons, and was the first all baggage McKeen Car. The car was builder's number 146 out of 152, and purchased by UP for $22703.12 in 1915. This was the first McKeen Car with a McKeen built 300HP engine. I believe through what research I've done that there was a carburetor on each cylinder (the engine was a straight 6) to help reduce resistance on the intake side the engine. A single carburetor supplying fuel to 150 liters of engine is a big task. This however would nearly prevent you from ever tuning in the engine as you would have to pick out, by ear, which cylinder was not firing right and how to fix that carburetor.

This photo was taken before 1934 when it was painted in the Famous Union Pacific Yellow and Brown paint scheme of the streamliners. This was after the pilot was replaced with flat sheet metal, possibly an attempt at further streamlining this car?

The trailer car behind M-23 is T-18, one of two early McKeen Cars to be rebuilt into an unpowered trailer. T-18 was originally UP #7, the first round window McKeen built in March of 1906.

At this time, both cars would be in Pullman Green.

Note: To everyone reading this, I did not initially make it clear, this car still exists, and it is our goal to restore ...
06/08/2019

Note: To everyone reading this, I did not initially make it clear, this car still exists, and it is our goal to restore this car to operating condition, the car is in our possession and we are working now to secure a workshop to restore the car. The Cuyamaca is the third oldest all steel railcar in the US, as well as the oldest existing aerodynamic vehicle (I would love to know if I'm wrong, but the next oldest is 1910, another McKeen Car, and then the first Indi 500 Winner, the Marmon Wasp of 1911.)

Very rarely does a photo of the Cuyamaca turn up that I've not seen before. This is the 1909 San Diego Merchant Association's trip and I have seen one photo previously of this trip, but when this rare second photo turned up, I had to have it.

This is the only Starboard side photo of the Cuyamaca taken in San Diego. This is also a nicely detailed photo that shows such details as a Patent Plate on the rear of the car, it also shows three single chime whistles plumbed to the air line (which I do not believe is factory) as well as gold leaf on the pilot, the name "Cuyamaca" itself, and a number of other small details.

Can anyone help locate the photo by the houses in the background?

Peter
04/23/2019

Peter

#5 at work, not just posing. From Lakeside Heritage site.

The "Mary" of the Silver Peak Railroad
04/09/2019

The "Mary" of the Silver Peak Railroad

Baseball season is back and tonight is the home opener for the Reno Aces Baseball! To celebrate here is a photo from 1912 of a baseball team from Blair, Nevada, taking an excursion to Tonopah on the Silver Peak Railroad's McKeen Motor Car to play a game. I think we can all agree that it would be great to arrive at the ballpark on a McKeen Motor Car.

The V&T #22 was moved into the Museum's Main Center.  This is the first time it has to my knowledge.
03/14/2019

The V&T #22 was moved into the Museum's Main Center. This is the first time it has to my knowledge.

Here was a pricey postcard that was hard to pass up.  Ann Arbor #1 was built in May of 1911, builders number 109.  It we...
02/09/2019

Here was a pricey postcard that was hard to pass up. Ann Arbor #1 was built in May of 1911, builders number 109. It weighed roughly 35 tons, it was 70' long, and could haul 83 passengers. It was custom ordered and built with arched windows long after round windows became the standard. Few other roads requested arched windows, one being the Chicago Great Western having bought three with arched windows, and in 1928 turned all three into a streamed train, 6 years before UP's M-10000.

This car was converted to Kerosene in 1915, the engine would start on gas and once warm was switched over to kerosene. A.A.R.R. #1 and her sisters #2,#3, #4, and #5 were out of service by 1931. This photo was taken in Ossowo, Michigan.

M-23 was built in May of 1915 for the Union Pacific. It was builder's number 146 of 152, putting it near the end of the ...
02/02/2019

M-23 was built in May of 1915 for the Union Pacific. It was builder's number 146 of 152, putting it near the end of the company. It was a odd ball to say the least, The drop center door....was not a door at all. The car was not a doodlebug if one is defined as carrying passengers. This photo was taken in Callaway, Nebraska, on November 15th, 1945.

The car itself was built with an experimental McKeen 300HP engine, and by my best research, was possibly a 12" bore 15" stroke, which equates to 8143 Cubic Inches, or in other words a 133 Liter Engine. If you take assumed 300HP at 350 RPM, that defines the torque at 4500 Ft/Lbs. Torque is highly desired when it comes to moving railcars that way many many tons.

However, at the time this photo was taken, the car had be modified by EMC and rebuilt with a 300HP Diesel Winton Engine and Motor Truck built by St. Louis Car Company. Interestingly enough, this motor car usually hauled Coach #499, however in this photo it's hauling Trailer Car T-18 which was rebuilt from U.P.R.R. #7, the first round window McKeen Car, Builders Number 007.

Here is a neat photo of Southern Pacific #41 in Sacramento on April 11th, 1935.  I had a second thought that this wasn't...
01/19/2019

Here is a neat photo of Southern Pacific #41 in Sacramento on April 11th, 1935. I had a second thought that this wasn't a scrapline, but the doors have been left open and the car is stuck between other passenger cars. This tells me they didn't care any more and soon this car would be send to the scrapline.

Southern Pacific 41 was built in November of 1909, the car was originally built for the Oregon and California as builders number 062, and was a 55' model with a fairly large baggage section. The Car was "Laid Aside" in 8-10-1936, but this photo suggests they stopped using the car sooner than that. The car was considered scrapped on the SP roster on December 16th, 1936.

Here's a scrapline photo of Southern Pacific #39 in Sacramento.  It's motor truck was removed and replaced with a shop t...
01/12/2019

Here's a scrapline photo of Southern Pacific #39 in Sacramento. It's motor truck was removed and replaced with a shop truck that appears to be old, possibly built in the 1870's or 80's.

This car was built in April of 1910, Builder's Number 072. The Car weighed 35 Tons new and could haul 62 passengers. This photo was taken on December 28th, 1935, though documents say the car was "Laid Aside" in August of 1936 and scrapped on December 16th, of the same year. Maybe that's when the roster was updated?

Peter James asked if I had information on the operating instructions for the McKeen Cars, and if I had photos of the cab...
01/05/2019

Peter James asked if I had information on the operating instructions for the McKeen Cars, and if I had photos of the cab controls. I haven't yet scanned the McKeen Manual that I have, but I do have interesting blueprints and schematics that show how to construct the cars, and I'll post photos of the cabs of McKeen Cars. Open each photo individually and each will have a description.

Here is a nice photo I acquired of the Woodstock and Sycamore Traction Company McKeen Car #711.  The railroad owned thre...
12/19/2018

Here is a nice photo I acquired of the Woodstock and Sycamore Traction Company McKeen Car #711. The railroad owned three cars, #707, #709, and #711, the first car having a short baggage section, while the next two were solely passenger motor cars.

This Car, builder's number 108 was built in July of 1911, and arrived shortly before this photo was taken. This exact postcard was sent from Genoa to Elgin, Ill, on Feb 8th, 1912, at 4pm, so this photo was taken within a year of the arrival of the car, however, the railroad only had the car for 3 years.

The car was later repossessed by William McKeen in 1914 for failure to make payments on the three cars they were paying off. The #707 was rebuilt with an oddly located baggage door and sold to the Lakeside and Marblehead Railroad to become their #5, which I posted an interior and exterior photo of recently.

The #709 and #711 were rebuilt, refurbished and sent to the Alberta and Great Waterways Railway in Alberta, Canada. The cars serviced a bit more life in Canada, the cars ran up in the 1920s with minimal success. A story I forget the source of told of the two cars sitting around the shops about 1930 or so, derelict, and a party of some kind wanted to ride the train as a get-a-way. Well one car was fixed up with the parts from the other sitting there, a ran for about 10 miles and the engine failed, had to be towed back, and that was the last time for sure they would ever run under their own power.

Here's a postcard I acquired, it shows the Buffalo Rochester and Pittsburgh Railway McKeen Car #1001, unofficially named...
12/15/2018

Here's a postcard I acquired, it shows the Buffalo Rochester and Pittsburgh Railway McKeen Car #1001, unofficially named the "Rocket." It was built in May of 1910, and was builder's number 090. It weighed 37.5 Tons, and could haul 84 passengers. It was sold to the Deer River Railroad in 1917 and then sold to the Narragansett Pier in 1921 and became #8. It was scrapped about 1930.

If anyone has any more information on the Deer River Railroad, I would greatly appreciate it. I found out they were only around for one year, incorporated in August of 1917, and took over the Carthage and Copenhagen Railroad.

Recently acquired for the collection, these two photos of the Lakeside and Marblehead #5 McKeen Motor Car are quite nice...
12/13/2018

Recently acquired for the collection, these two photos of the Lakeside and Marblehead #5 McKeen Motor Car are quite nice photos. The prints themselves are only about 4 inches wide but they are sharp images. The interior view is the beautifully rare view, and shows details like the builder's artwork above the doorway, as well as the electric lamps, trim work, and the mirrors. The "Cuyamaca" motor car was not constructed with walls as shown, but the Virginia and Truckee McKeen Car #22 looked very much like this.

As a partial news update, the McKeen Car Cuyamaca will hopefully be moved this January or February to a new location where the car can be worked on by volunteers and where we won't annoy residents. We will be laying asphalt and making both a metal and wood workshop to be able to work on the Railcar. Stay Tuned for more information.

Here's a photo of Southern Pacific #45, built in September of 1910, as builder's number 093.  The car weighted 30 tons, ...
12/01/2018

Here's a photo of Southern Pacific #45, built in September of 1910, as builder's number 093. The car weighted 30 tons, and could haul 62 people, plus conductor and motorman. The car was the last in service McKeen on the Southern Pacific, lasting 5 years more than all others, being pulled off the rails in January of 1939. It was used as a paint shop in Roseville for a few years.

#45 ran the Placerville branch line for quite a while, and would haul a Trailer car from Sacramento to Folsom, and then finish the trip to Placerville on it's own.

Southern Pacific Motor Car #43 was built in December of 1910, and was builder's number 092.  The southern Pacific Compan...
11/23/2018

Southern Pacific Motor Car #43 was built in December of 1910, and was builder's number 092. The southern Pacific Company had her shipped to Sacramento and severed for the S.P. till January of 1934 when she was placed into this scrap line of McKeens. In the photo, left to right are #43, then #31, then #47, and then others I can't read. #43 was finally scrapped on June 30th, 1936.

Here is a postcard I acquired, and to my surprise, the postcard was written in dutch (I think) and it's in cursive.  Can...
09/30/2018

Here is a postcard I acquired, and to my surprise, the postcard was written in dutch (I think) and it's in cursive. Can anyone here read it? It does say "motor car" and "Union Pacific" so I'm interested in what it reads.

The postcard shows an early round window McKeen, possibly #7 or #8 at Valley, Nebraska, hauling a McKeen Trailer Car.

Thank You All in advance for your Help.

Here's a new addition to the collection, a postcard of Houston and Texas Central McKeen Motor Car #1003, Builder's Numbe...
09/16/2018

Here's a new addition to the collection, a postcard of Houston and Texas Central McKeen Motor Car #1003, Builder's Number 140, built around 1913. The car was a parabolic nose 70' motor car that weighed 68,000 pounds. It was sold to the Texas and New Orleans Railroad at some point, and was later scrapped in October of 1929.

The Postcard is in Amazing Condition for being as old as it is, the saturation and other factors in the scan are untouched, the postcard is like brand new.

I recently acquired this photo of Oregon Railroad and Navigation Company #1 at Winona, Washington.  It took some researc...
09/09/2018

I recently acquired this photo of Oregon Railroad and Navigation Company #1 at Winona, Washington. It took some research and quests through facebook groups, but once someone was able to read "Winona" on the building, I was able to find out it was the Winona Hotel and that the tracks there still exist.

If anyone has more information on the location, I would love to hear it, I am going to write up the page for the O.R.&N.Co. here soon on the website.

Here's a photo I acquired a while back, a postcard of Union Pacific M-13 at Boulder, Colorado.  Quick research revealed ...
09/09/2018

Here's a photo I acquired a while back, a postcard of Union Pacific M-13 at Boulder, Colorado. Quick research revealed that this station still exists, and is currently not in use.

https://bouldercolorado.gov/historic-preservation/boulder-jaycees-depot

This was builder's number -013 built in September of 1907, the car weighted 35 tons, and could haul 75 passengers. It was originally sold to the Union Pacific for $17115.44, and was wrecked in June of 1936. Not much is known about this wreck, nor have photos surfaced.

Here's a rare Postcard of Arizona Eastern Railroad McKeen Car #3, a 70' motor car with room for 80 passengers.  It was b...
08/25/2018

Here's a rare Postcard of Arizona Eastern Railroad McKeen Car #3, a 70' motor car with room for 80 passengers. It was builder's number 088 and was built in January of 1911. It was laid aside in August of 1929, and scrapped August 30th of 1930.

Here the car is in Miami, Arizona, a small mining town that still exists. I've contacted the mayor looking for more information on the railroad, motor cars, and location of the station in the town, just waiting now to hear back from him.

Here's a neat photo I picked up of Sumas, Washington, a Town right on the border with Canada.  Seen at the train station...
08/18/2018

Here's a neat photo I picked up of Sumas, Washington, a Town right on the border with Canada. Seen at the train station is the "Kulshan" Motor Car owned by the Bellingham Bay and British Columbia Railroad. It is grainy zoomed in, but this is a real photo so you can zoom in pretty far to catch a few small details.

The "Kulshan" was builder's number 053, built in February of 1909, weighed 40 Tons, was 70' long, and could haul 64 passengers. The B.B.&B.C. was sold to the Bellingham and Northern Railway in 1912, and then the Chicago Milwaukee & St. Paul Railroad (The Milwaukee Road) in 1918.

Here are a few photos acquired recently from a family photo album.  The car is Southern Pacific #47, built in January of...
07/28/2018

Here are a few photos acquired recently from a family photo album. The car is Southern Pacific #47, built in January of 1911 as builder's number 094. It was 70' Long, could haul 62 passengers and was laid aside on July 9th, 1935, and then used as an Engineer's locker room in Colton, California.

Here's something interesting...
07/24/2018

Here's something interesting...

McKeen letter to Salt Lake & Los Angeles Railway, which later became the Salt Lake, Garfield & Western Railway. The "Salt Air" mentioned at the bottom of the letter was a resort on the south shore of Great Salt Lake. Letter is dated April 30, 1915.

Discovery!  The Army's Air Force did purchase a McKeen Car, a McKeen Switcher Engine to be exact!  This photo was discov...
07/21/2018

Discovery! The Army's Air Force did purchase a McKeen Car, a McKeen Switcher Engine to be exact! This photo was discovered and sent to me this morning. Keilty did report that a photo of an Army Air Service McKeen existed, it seemed to assume it was a Motor Car, not a switcher engine. With no previous mentions or photos, I'm not able to say if the Army bought only this switcher or if they also bought a Motor Car.

"McKeene Gasoline Engine, Langley Field, Hampton, Virginia."

Received 2/21/18, Taken 12/31/17"

https://catalog.archives.gov/id/55171334

Happy Fourth of July!
07/04/2018

Happy Fourth of July!

Northern Pacific's A-1 was built in 1909, and is 039 on the builder's list.  The car weighted 30 tons, could haul 40 pas...
07/01/2018

Northern Pacific's A-1 was built in 1909, and is 039 on the builder's list. The car weighted 30 tons, could haul 40 passengers reportedly (My calculation with 3 people per 47 bench estimates 54.) The Northern Pacific Car has a GREAT History write up in Fall 2012 Magazine "The Mainstreeter" which talks about the general history of the Northern Pacific Railroad. The write up is 9 pages long, far more complete of a history than I could easily write up.

Nevada State Railroad Museum, Carson City
07/01/2018

Nevada State Railroad Museum, Carson City

06/23/2018

McKeen Manual Unboxing!!!

Well, goes to show how long 70' really is.
05/12/2018

Well, goes to show how long 70' really is.

Traffic jam at the office today

Another addition to the collection, a rare photo of a Santa Fe McKeen Car M-101.  The photo is postmarked August 12th,19...
04/07/2018

Another addition to the collection, a rare photo of a Santa Fe McKeen Car M-101. The photo is postmarked August 12th,1910, sent from Wakarusa, Kansas. Builder's Number 041 was built in February of 1909, used on the Girard Branch starting June 1910, and ran from Pittsburg, Kansas to Chanute, Kansas. It reportedly ran that route until being scrapped in 1921. The car weighed 32 tons and could haul 75 passengers.

Most people ask what my next step in the restoration of the McKeen Motor Car will be, here will be the last step I take....
04/01/2018

Most people ask what my next step in the restoration of the McKeen Motor Car will be, here will be the last step I take...from an official McKeen booklet on "How to Assemble a McKeen Motor Car."

Often times photos I purchase are bent, faded, have watermarks, or other such damage.  Here is a before and after of a p...
03/28/2018

Often times photos I purchase are bent, faded, have watermarks, or other such damage. Here is a before and after of a photo of the Oregon Railroad and Navigation Company car #604, ex. #3. The car was a 70', 37 ton, 44 Passenger motor car with baggage section. It was later renumbered M-80, and was scrapped in June of 1936. This was one of a few cars that were ordered with a parabolic nose, in place of a Knife-Edge nose.

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Ramona, CA
92065

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