Toonerville
Trolley




Dick Rayburn has always enjoyed the Toonerville Trolley, from the comic strip titled "Toonerville Folks" by Fontaine Fox, which ran from 1908 to 1955. Dick's self-built 7.5-inch gauge Toonerville Trolley, pictured below, had its coming out party here at the Bitter Creek Western Railroad on July 2, 2005. As far as we know, it's the only 7.5-inch gauge Toonerville Trolley in existence. The trolley that inspired Fontaine Fox was in Pelham, NY.

Dick's Toonerville Trolley has no propulsion of its own. It is pushed (or pulled) by another locomotive. It is attached to that other locomotive by a long narrow black bar (about 5 feet long). When it's rolling along out in front like that, it effectively appears that it's a runaway trolley being chased by the pusher loco.

Since this page was first posted, we've learned that there have been other Toonerville Trolleys done in 7.5" gauge. This info came from the LiveDiesels group on Yahoo:

"Ed Farnsworth (now deceased) had a Toonerville Trolley that he brought to Florida Live Steamers meets in the 70's. It was radio controlled and he powered it with his car battery. At one meet he ran it too much and when he put it back in his car it didn't have enough power left to start the car. He would quite often run it while sitting on a train, letting it follow the train. Don't know where it went after he passed away."

Also... "The August 1987 issue, page 27, of Live Steam magazine has a simple construction article of the Toonerville Trolley - steam powered!"

And... "Dick Howell from LALS has one he built out of wood, all electric." (See lower right.)


Dick Rayburn's "Toonerville Trolley" debuted at BCWRR on July 2, 2005!


Dick at the controls of his 7.5-inch gauge Toonerville Trolley. He makes a good "Skipper", don't you know! (How'd he climb in there?!)


The red loco (#213) behind the Trolley is actually attached to the Trolley by a long narrow black bar and provides the propulsion. The connection to #213 can be seen in the picture above; it hooks into a standard coupler at the pusher loco end. There's a universal connection at the Trolley end.


The black connecting bar is visible leaving the Trolley to the right at about platform level (in both the picture above and the picture to the left).

Do a Google search on Toonerville Folks.

Here's an O-gauge version.


This picture is from the Los Angeles Live Steamers (LALS) web site, probably in the 1970s range.

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