Mack Trucks Inc., America’s oldest commercial vehicle manufacturer, is also the oldest rail motor car manufacturer in the United States. The company designed and produced rail cars (also referred to as rail buses), self-propelled railway passenger cars and locomotives. Gasoline, gas-electric and diesel-electric “rolling stock” was produced at the company’s plants in Allentown, Pennsylvania and Plainfield, New Jersey.
The company sold its first “rail car” to the Uintah Railway Company of Colorado in 1903. Construction began at Mack Trucks’ Brooklyn plant on Atlantic Avenue and was completed in Allentown’s No.1 Division. Mack delivered its second rail car to another Colorado operator, the Silverton Northern Railroad, on August 22, 1905 where it provided passenger service between Eureka and Silverton.
The Mack Allentown plant produced the first two and one-half ton 25-45 horsepower Model AB omnibus type passenger rail bus in late 1920 for the Chesapeake Western Railway in 1920. In 1921, Mack assembled the first five ton 64 horsepower Model AC omnibus type passenger rail bus for The New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad. Both the AB and AC models were fitted with a double axle four flanged wheel pony truck at the front, and a single axle two flanged wheel railway truck at the rear. In 1923, Mack Trucks expanded its rail bus range with the introduction of the 60-80 horsepower Model ACX, which featured a four wheel rear truck and longer chassis to accommodate longer bodies. Forty railroads and twenty-three industrial companies in the continental United States, Hawaii, Canada, Bolivia, Columbia, Cuba, Honduras, Korea and Spain have operated rolling stock produced by Mack Trucks.
The CB&Q bought a Mack/McGuire Cummings railcar in 1922 to run on the branch lines on the Wymore div. Given Road Number 501 it proved too small and in 1928 was sold to the Rapid City, Black Hills and Western. In 1934 they traded it back to the Q for a locomotive tender.
Mack rolling stock remains in operation to the present day. One of four Mack FCD rail buses purchased by Sperry Rail Service continues to operate in year 2015, some 61 years after being built, performing ultrasonic rail testing for microscopic fissures on the New York City subway system and elsewhere. (From www.bigmacktrucks.com)
Our MRRHQ Custom Powered & Lighted 1922 CB&Q Mack Railcar #501 was exhaustively engineered and built over a three week period.
Built from vintage Jordan 360-305 Model Kit.
Northwest Shortline Flea II Drive Motive Power upgraded with NWSL 40" Drive Wheels.
Custom LED Operating Head & Tail Lamps.
Clear window treatments.
Custom Steel Handrails.
Hours and hours and hours of engineering and build time.