Posted by on May 2, 2007 
I had no idea they actually had something like this. Thanks for sharing.
Posted by SGS on May 2, 2007 
According to the writeup (on a nearby plaque) this car would be tacked onto a commendeared (by the DOD) transcontinental freight and the train would be run back and forth across the country until it was to be launch. Guess they figured it was impossible to hit when moving.
Posted by Bob on May 2, 2007 
One wonders how much we, the taxpayers, paid for this experiment that ended up being mothballed...
Posted by on May 3, 2007 
"One wonders how much we, the taxpayers, paid for this experiment that ended up being mothballed..." How much of your college education, that you paid for, do you actually use every day? Sometimes you pay to learn about things that don't work. The museum is full of those types of learning tools.
Posted by Doug Wolfe on May 3, 2007 
If nothing else it is certainly unique. Nice work Jeff.
Posted by J. Cataquet on May 3, 2007 
Nice joke Bob! And Nice phto Jeff! I saw the thumbnail and thought it was an oversize container!
Posted by CalMike415 on May 3, 2007 
Similar projects were in place at a couple Air Force Bases here in California.(and elsewhere I'm sure) Edwards AFB (near Mojave) has man-made mountains in the desert that were built to house such cars. The cars were invisible to satellites and safe from missile attack while housed in the mountains(more like hills). Vandenberg AFB has large buildings to house the "rail-garrison-cars" that were designed to deploy missiles. Very impressive! Thank you for sharing.
Posted by Railfan James on May 3, 2007 
Posted by Steve Wood on May 3, 2007 
Great history lesson and nice photo. Thanks for sharing.
Posted by Tom Foolery on May 3, 2007 
That is really neat (and educational)! Great photo, thanks for posting it.
Posted by Mike Blaszak on May 3, 2007 
I worked with the Air Force on the rail garrison project in the late 1980s (Santa Fe was the lead railroad for this procurement). The first President Bush canceled the project in 1991 after the Soviet Union collapsed, in large part because it could not match U.S. strategic weaponry. To my mind the taxpayers' money was well spent.
Posted by RailfanAlex on May 3, 2007 
Neat! I guess the jacks underneath the car stop the car from rolling away when a missile is launched?
Posted by SGS on May 3, 2007 
Makes me want to build one for the layout...just to incite this kind of conversation during open houses... 8)
Posted by Bill on May 3, 2007 
I've seen models of missile cars in the Walther's catalog. Old concept, there is a diorama at the air museum in Rantoul, IL showing the Minuteman version. For a long time SAC had rail cars with radar that were used to grade air crews when they made dummy bomb runs on US cities during practice missions.
Posted by Chris Paulhamus on May 3, 2007 
Neat shot, Jeff. Hope you had fun at Wright-Patt at the USAF Museum...IMO, it's far better in pretty much all aspects than the Air & Space Museum in D.C. But, I imagine if I was a Conehead/Cave Pilot, I'd rather be on 'Rolling Nuke' duty than sitting underground in a launch facility somewhere in MT, WY, NE, or ND!!
Posted by Steve Amitrano on May 3, 2007 
I was a USAF Security Policeman for 21 years and I am familiar with this rail launching system. What was never really developed was the armored railcars that would accompany the ICBM. The concept would involve microwave perimeter to where closer you got to the resource "warmer" you became. This was going to be used for the B-2 bomber ground protection also. The armored cars would be outfitted with bushmaster chain gun used on the Bradley fighting vehicle, MK-19 40mm automatic grenade launchers, M-2, .50 cal MG's. These would be mounted in turrets and would be in the down position in the accompanying cars. When necessary they would pop up to firing position. Additionally, a contingent of Security Police (now Security Forces) would provide perimeter security/defense. One key aspect we never could come to agreement with was the jurisdictional issues with regards to creating a safe zone around the weapon. Nuclear weapons this exposed presented us with many security issues. The Ground Launch Cruise Missile (GLCM) used in Europe was deemed more viable as it was already operational.
Posted by sd70railfan on May 4, 2007 
Reminds me of a prototype version of the old Lionel Minuteman car with the missile.
Posted by Joe Callahan on May 4, 2007 
Thanks for posting. When I worked at Westinghouse, Sunnyvale, CA I watched two of these being built from the ground up. Such memories of the "Cold War".
Posted by highliner on May 5, 2007 
I remember several of these cars being outfitted at the E-Systems mfg facility at Avon Military Reservation(Lexington,Ky) in the late '80's. Contrary to one previous post, this mobile system worked fine, and was employed for at least five years. These cars were later used for shipments of outsize/ weather sensitive components for Westinghouse and other DOD contractors, at least until about 2005. The empty weight of one of these cars should be about 100 tons.
Posted by Michael F. Allen on May 7, 2007 
Jeff, Thanks for sharing this. Now there's a prototype for HO my track cleaning car!
Posted by SGS on May 10, 2007 
Track cleaning car? What a fantastic idea!!
Posted by Steve Glischinski on May 11, 2007 
Really cool!
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