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Train / Allis Chalmers M7 Hickman, NE **Status Unknown*

• CATEGORIES: Features, Unusual • TAGS: .

UPDATE: Was $8500. **Status Unknown**

JAAP correctly noted this was built from an Allis-Chambers M7 Snowcat platform. Here’s  a restoration of a M7 for comparison:

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Here is your opportunity to get a great piece of American ingenuity and history. This is a one of a kind train built back in the 1950’s by hand. I do not know anything of the man that built it but believe he must have had some railroad experience or a great understanding of how a train operates on the tracks. The train is built with front suspension that allows it to turn with the tracks along with allowing it to float into the turns with the spring suspension. The rear of the train is designed with the same setup. The drivetrain is built of a war time 1944 Willys Jeep. It has the L-head 134.2 cubic inch inline 4 cylinder Go Devil Engine. Followed up with a T-84 3 speed transmission. The transmission has what looks to be a custom transmission brake on it for slowing the train. The transmission is followed up by a shortened drive shaft to a narrowed rear-end to which came from the same jeep. 
The motor spins free and everything looks to be in place as well as the transmission shifting. I have not tried to start it. Last time it was reported to be ran is when it was parked about 20 years ago. The rest of the train is built with a stout frame and a beautifully done engine cover hand formed from numerous sheets of skins to give it a period correct look of its time. The head light is from a 1941 Chevrolet car. 

The train comes with four cars three are incomplete which allows you to build to suit on them. The third is shown in photos. Its great for pulling young children and adults around with. It will need some wood work to replace old wood that used to be inside of it. 

The train comes with about 1400+ feet of #12 track and a great number of joints to lock the tracks. There is over $5,000 in track alone there. The 1400 feet is enough to get you down a football field and back down the other side. A pretty good run for a train of this size. 

Dimensions of Engine ( locomotive ) are: 
11′ long
3′ wide
4′ tall.

Built car is:
11’6″ long
3’5 wide
3′ tall

The train has been painted about three or four times over the years. You can see Red, orange, blue along with another color or two as well. There is a script written on the side of both side of the locomotive that reads: 
“Westmore Red Arrow” with a “W” on back and “9” on front of the locomotive. I was told the train came from Cambridge Nebraska pre 1974. The track was assembled in a small town in Nebraska back in 1974 for the towns 100 year centennial. 

The price for this train and all its track is $8,500. If you were to buy one like this today you’d be spending anywhere from $50,000 to $150,000. I prefer cash but will entertain offers on trades or partial trades. CJ-8 Scrambler Jeep, 1994-96 Impala, VW Bus, classic cars or pickups..??
Please do not leave a voice mail. Voice mail does not work. Call or text only.”


17 Comments on “Train / Allis Chalmers M7 Hickman, NE **Status Unknown*

  1. STEVE

    This belongs in a museum somewhere. It needs some one (hint, hint) to find a home for it. I am sure there are enough of us that would donate to the cause.

  2. STEVE

    The transmission has what looks to be a custom transmission brake on it for slowing the train.
    And we all know what that is.

  3. CraigInPA

    As a former ride on model railroad enthusiast, this hits all the right notes. The train, with cars, and track are worth WAY more than he’s asking. It will probably end up at an amusement park, mini golf course, or some place like that. It won’t end up in a mall, because it’s gas powered.

    Not many hobbyists around anymore for this kind or project, which could clearly consume all your waking hours for a year before you actually get to ride it.

  4. SE Pennsylvania Steve

    The “custom transmission brake” didn’t ring a bell with me until I read STEVE’s comment.
    That’s funny!

  5. kilroy

    Not sure about having my “vitals so close to all those moving parts in the cab, though.
    Looks like there was another shroud for the back end of the engine at some point, maybe.
    It is, all, very cool!

  6. Dan H

    A lot of the train parts are from a Tom Thumb train. Can’t be used in the public in most states. You would have to add air brakes to the engine and cars. Then have an engineer sign off that it is safe. Those welds would never pass a ride inspection.

  7. Alaska Paul

    There’s an unrestored, non running M7 snow tractor about 60 miles from Anchorage. It’s missing parts and the tracks are bad but it could be restored. I don’t know if it’s for sale…I’ll ask if it is next time I’m in the area.

  8. glennstin

    Hi Paul, I don’t have any contact info on M7 owners, but I bet they would like to track down that parts machine. I emailed the Roberts Armory about this discussion, but have not heard anything. I also put a link on our Alna, Maine WW&F Railway Museum, a fine working exhibit of Narrow Gauge Railroad life as it was in the early 20th Century. Roam around that site if you like, and it’s a great visit if you find yourself nearby Costal Maine.

  9. Alaska Paul

    Glen, I’ll see what information I can get concerning the M7 (and possible pictures) but it might have to wait until next spring after the snow melts. I didn’t realize you’re a rail fan also. Some years ago I picked up another restoration project so as soon as I’m finished with the Willys rebuild and after I duplicate an M100 trailer in stainless steel I can get working on restoring a regular gauge pump handcar. I’ve managed to get some of the original rails (1910 vintage) this handcar operated on but naturally I want more track. My projects keep me busy and broke so I don’t think I’ll be making any trips to Maine in this lifetime. Thanks anyway.

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