One interesting film made about railroad speeder culture is Weekend Railroaders, released in 2013 on Blu-Ray and DVD. A speeder, sometimes called a railway motor car, is a motorized rail vehicle that was used by railroads to inspect track and move work crews between locations. While not fast in comparison to a regular train, the term “speeder” comes from the fact that it is indeed “speedier” than a human-powered hand-car. Hi-rail vehicles (e.g. pick-up trucks with additional rail wheels) replaced the use of speeders by the 1990s. Speeders are now collected, restored and used by excursion groups such as the North American Railcar Operators Association (NARCOA). Weekend Railroaders examines this railroad pastime.
Image – weekendrailroaders.com
Filmed in Texas and Oklahoma, the documentary contains footage from speeder excursions, which are coordinated with host railroads, and interviews with hobbyists. Noted railroad historian Leon Sapp provides context for the phenomenon. The film is directed by Scott Peterson and produced by Crew Media. Here is one trailer for Weekend Railroaders:
Further information about Weekend Railroaders, including how to order the film, can be found at the official link Weekend Railroaders.
(Copyright – Chad Beharriell)