A car that can run on the road or the rails

This customized 1957 Pontiac was used by the Erie Mining Company to transport supervisors up and down the company's 74-mile-long Mainline railroad, which shipped taconite from mines in northern Minnesota to coastal ports and processing facilities on Lake Superior.

Every day, seven 96-car trains full of taconite travel down this rail line. The Pontiac was tricked out to allow it to drive on both roads or on the Mainline rails, themselves, with rail wheels that could be raised or lowered. You can see the rail wheels in the photo below.

Both photos come from my visit to the Lake Superior Railroad Museum in Duluth last month.



    1. Texas too.

      With that said, that Pontiac is WAY better looking than those maintenance trucks.

      That’d be riding in style.

      1. Yes. The pick ups are standard equipment. We see them on UP, CN, Norfolk Southern, etc. etc. all the time. This one is only unique in that it is a badassed mobile.

    2.  Here in Delaware, my neighbor drives one to work every day.  It’s a white pickup with a Conrail logo on it, I think.

  1. Does anyone have a picture from behind?  I have a friend that does some awesome paintings of the backs of classic cars, and this is exactly the kind of thing that she’d love to paint.

    EDIT: I am Ron Burgundy?

  2. This is the first modern (post-WWII) rail inspection car I’ve ever seen that isn’t a pickup or suburban (small s). I heartily approve!

  3. Here’s one with a motorcycle http://youtu.be/oI6oJaxIJgU

    Youtube’s also full of people modifying bicycles to run on the rails, just search for “rail-bike”.

  4. Taconite is the secret ingredient in Taco Bell and Jack In The Box tacos. You thought that hard shell was made from corn flour, but it’s mostly taconite.

  5. When I was a kid, one of our neighbours who ran a maintenance crew for Canadian National Rail had a pickup truck like this. As a 12 year-old, I thought it was just about the coolest thing I’d ever seen. Not just a half-ton – a half-ton you can RIDE ON THE FREAKIN’ TRAIN TRACKS!

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