NSWGR Railway Carriage Group
Design of Replica Cycle Car - Wheels and Frame
In about 2004, Ken McCawley and I decided to have a look at the Cycle car at Swanbank. So we flew to Brisbane and were taken to Swanbank.
There, we duly measured and photographed the 3’6” cycle car which was in good original condition. After much discussion we decided that the hardest part to make would be the wheels, as most of the structure is bicycle based.
I started getting quotes from metal spinners for the cost of making the wheels.
The greatest cost would be the mould on which the wheels were spun and this was quite expensive for such a small scale project. Eventually I located a spinner who could make a timber mould, at reasonable cost, which would make forty wheels before it became too degraded for further use.
Next we looked at the frames. A few discarded older style pushbike frames were collected from council cleanups and put into storage (the shed).
Frame in its original state
Wheels were made in 2004 and put into store. Next we had to find a cycle shop capable of doing the work.
Alas all bikes are now made in China, and local shops are into sales of spares and servicing. So the project was put on hold.
Then we fast forward to 2009. My family and I go to the UK to visit our son who is working there.
Upon our return in July 2009 my father, Stan asks me to visit.
My visit to his home workshop reveals a pair of my rail cycle wheels mounted on an axle with sealed race bearings and hubs and a pushbike frame starting to be modified to form the basis of a ‘Light Inspection Car’.
The axle is spaced to four foot eight and a half inch standard gauge spacing.
Wheel drilling for spokes
Punching spoke dimples
First axle set
Frame assembly stage
The push bike frame rear forks are removed and an adaptor fabricated to suit the rail bike frame. The front forks are also removed and a new stem fabricated to replace the forks. Then the frame work was made to accommodate the standard gauge axles.
Completed bike (unpainted)
After adjustments, fitting of brake mechanism and application of rubber to the wheels, the paint is finally applied. The colour used is Heritage Green with Silver on the wheels and other fittings.
Below "In the paint Shop"
Inspiration: Ken McCawley
Construction: Stan Goodman
Photograph of Queensland Light Rail Inspection Car: Swanbank Railway Museum