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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Union in McHenry County, Illinois — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
 

Indiana Harbor Belt 1181

Gasoline Motorcar ("Speeder")

 
 
Indiana Harbor Belt 1181 Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., September 6, 2010
1. Indiana Harbor Belt 1181 Marker
Inscription.

The earliest motorcars (often called speeders or section cars) appeared just after the start of the 20th century, using many of the same mechanical components as the first automobiles.

The first speeders used single-cylinder engines connected directly to an axle; such motorcars had to be pushed to start, and turned off to stop. Later designs had multi-cylinder gasoline engines, hand cranks or electric starters, geared or belt drives, and electric lights. Most speeders had open sides and room for four or five workers, but models were available with enclosed bodies or space for up to [a] dozen passengers.

The most common use of motorcars was to transport a section gang (track workers responsible for a designated “section” of up to ten miles of track) to a work site. Unpowered trailer carts could be coupled behind to haul tools, rails, or other equipment. Speeders were built until the early 1990ís, though most were replaced by “hi-rail” trucks (standard pickups with retractable railroad wheels) by the 1980ís.
 
Erected by Illinois Railway Museum.
 
Location. 42° 13.741′ N, 88° 31.637′ W. Marker is near Union, Illinois, in McHenry County. Touch for map. Marker
Indiana Harbor Belt 1181 and Marker image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., September 6, 2010
2. Indiana Harbor Belt 1181 and Marker
and motorcar are about 40 feet south of the 1851 Marengo station (now marked as East Union Station), on the grounds of the Illinois Railway Museum. Marker is at or near this postal address: 7000 Olson Road, Union IL 60180, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. 1851 Marengo Station (a few steps from this marker); Simplex Type Automatic Coupler (within shouting distance of this marker); Couplers (within shouting distance of this marker); Railroad Brakes / Westinghouse Automatic Air Brakes (within shouting distance of this marker); Railroad Standard Time (within shouting distance of this marker); Railroad Rails (within shouting distance of this marker); The Elgin & Belvidere Electric Company/Rebirth of the Elgin & Belvidere (within shouting distance of this marker); Chicago Railways Company Date Stone (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Union.
 
Also see . . .
1. Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad. (Submitted on December 18, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
2. A Brief History of the Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad. (Submitted on December 18, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
3. History of the Illinois Railway Museum
Indiana Harbor Belt 1181 Detail image. Click for full size.
By William Fischer, Jr., September 6, 2010
3. Indiana Harbor Belt 1181 Detail
. (Submitted on December 18, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
4. Rail Motorcars. (Submitted on December 18, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.)
 
Categories. Railroads & Streetcars
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 18, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania. This page has been viewed 473 times since then and 28 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on December 18, 2010, by William Fischer, Jr. of Scranton, Pennsylvania.
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