Ham Radio on the Rails

Location: Tillsonberg ON
October 16th, 2010
Trilliam Railways  Privately Owned limited length track

We "set on" in the morning  taking our cars off the trailers & placing them on the tracks at a grade crossing

Then a safety meeting is in order to let us know what our time table will be and any other special instructions

We travel between 18 & 35 MPH with 20 to 25 being the sweet spot .   Stops for breaks are scheduled ( not to mention lunch)

As a general rule we keep 10 seconds of time between our cars at minimum.   About 1/2 of the guys have 2 way radio

and I'd say 10% of most of the owners are Hams

Cars are of  maybe 5 main types with some being 2 cycle and the later cars with Onan twin cylinder 4 cycle engines with non synchro transmissions

cars are from 2 to 8 man configuration. There are also 3 main different makers of cars with Fairmont being the most popular

With many of the same basic models looking quite different in colour or markings or even body styles  as the railroads either ordered them that way or   modified them to their specifications.   Then there is the fact that the new owners put their personal touches on the cars also.

I've been doing this for almost 10 years now including 2 years of restoring my car & another 2 years down time from a rear end collision on a run a couple years ago.

73 and enjoy  Ritch  KA9DVL

Ritch and Denny truly put amateur radio on the rails.
Below are shots showing the event that the local rail authority permits.
Ritch KA9DVL and his daughter shared the railcar with Denny  VE3ONG
and the railcar operated VHF mobile while on the rails.

Ritch's railcar arriving at Denny's QTH

Notice the well preserved detail of this ham radio rail mobile.

The event was well attended on the authorized rail line.


The parade of rail cars enjoying the Ontario fall colours


Typical railway bridge with protector centre rails.

Ritch and daughter Sarah

Rich  Sarah and Denny

Ritch  Sarah and Denny  enjoying the day.


Denny in the midst of a VHF QSO while enjoying the day

More live action


Ritch  taking his turn at the track

Watch Ritch on YouTube tm
Fairmont MT 19A-1 Motorcar

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