Article From the Spring 2002 Issue of


The Journal of the New York Museum of Transportation


A team effort led by NYMT President Ted Strang and featuring the skills and talents of Bob Miner, Randy Bogucki, Paul Monte and Joe Reminder, is performing some much-needed reconstruction and upgrading of our track motor car, TC-1. As the backbone of our contribution to the all-important summer track car rides, keeping TC-1 in safe operating condition is imperative. We’re also interested in making improvements for operator convenience, maintainability, and operating efficiency. In a recent interview with Ted, it sounds like we’re lifting everything off the wheels and replacing it, and considering the mileage the motor car undergoes in ride service, that’s probably to be expected.

In fact, even the wheels have been replaced in recent years, along with many other improvements. Track car rides began over twenty years ago, and expanded in scope with the completion of the rail line through to RGVRRM. In the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, the motor car was rewired by Bill Holland, the engine was given a complete overhaul at Van’s Machine Shop, the radiator was cleaned and repaired, a layer of aluminum flashing was added to the roof, a new ignition switch, throttle linkage, oil pressure gauge and governor were added, and from time to time the paint was redone. Not to be ignored was the passenger trailer: Ted and Larry Kastner added fenders and step boards in the late 1980’s, as well as cushioned upholstery for the seats and a reinforced frame for the car itself.

The current project is even more ambitious. A fracture was discovered in the steel channel-stock frame, which locates the axles and supports the engine, and that has been welded. With the motor car being stored outside year-round since the arrival of ex-P&W trolley cars 161 and 168, a lot of the running boards and other wood parts

Bob Miner Takes a moment to survey the work
still ahead of the TC-1 rebuild team. Ted Thomas photo

are rotting and are being replaced. A couple of planks on each side, probably used originally as seats but now no longer needed, are rotted and will be removed. New flooring…probably diamond plate, hinged for access to brakes, wheels, etc….will be created. The important cross members and support blocks will all be replaced.

On the body of the motor car, a more durable material will be found to replace the delaminating plywood ends, and the four uprights that support the roof will be replaced. New windows fore and aft will be installed, possibly using safety glass instead of the Plexiglas that is prone to scratching.

A new seat box, set lower and fitted with a padded seat, will please the operators. The box will be designed to provide locked storage to contain the battery and the operator’s kit (flag, fire extinguisher, first aid kit, etc.). Currently, operators have to lug all this paraphernalia in a plastic milk crate, so this alone will be a welcome improvement.

Add in a new, larger fuel tank with convenient side filler neck, new brake shoes, new horn and access for chain tension adjustment, and we’ll have a track car that’s ready to keep attracting visitors with rides until trolley operations end-to-end can become fully operational.