railcar speeders narcoa - wambsgans car

The Wambsgans' orange and blue car sits on the Coos Bay Rail Line tracks Saturday.

The Pacific Railcar Operators, an affiliate of umbrella organization North American Railcar Operators Association, will be returning to the Coos Bay Rail Line for an excursion and toy drive from October 8 to the 10. NARCOA is a non-profit group of railroad enthusiasts with a mission to preserve safe and legal operation of historical railroad equipment.

Railroad motorcars, also called speeders or putt putt cars were utilized decades ago along railroads throughout the United States to assist crews in Maintenance of Way activities. Over the years, railroad motorcars have been largely replaced by more modern hyrail vehicles, which are standard roadway vehicles with retractable guide wheels that can operate on either road or rail. The Teddy Bear Toy Express is operated by the Pacific Railcar Operators under the direction of Bill and Nancy Andrews: railsnrods@msn.com.

Members of NARCOA operate privately owned speeders and participate in railroad-sanctioned excursions throughout the United States and Canada. This year’s run will begin on the north end of the CBRL starting the morning of October 8. It is anticipated that approximately 25 motorcars will participate in the October run. The group typically work with the port and the Coos Bay Rail Line to make up to three trips to the CBRL each year.

PRO will be collecting new and unwrapped toys for children of all ages at three locations for distribution in partnership with the Coos Bay North Bend Rotary Club. Pick up locations will include Mapleton on Friday, October 8, between 11 and 11:30 a.m. at the Mapleton Railroad Yard, North 13th Street in Lakeside on October 8 at approximately 3 to 3:30 p.m., and in Coquille at Sturdivant Park at approximately noon on Saturday, October 9. Members of the community that would like to participate by donating to children in need are welcome at the drop off on the days of the event or may also drop toys at the Railroad Museum during open hours of 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays. The toys will be transferred to the Coos Bay/North Bend Rotary Club on Saturday between 2 and 2:30 p.m. at the Coos Bay Boardwalk.

For additional information about NARCOA, upcoming excursions, or to locate motorcars for sale, please visit www.narcoa.org.

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