lease note: This content requires the base game Train Simulator in order to play.
Who needs diesel, steam, or even horse power? Get ready to flex your muscles with the free Pump Car for Train Simulator!
America’s first common carrier railroad, the legendary Baltimore & Ohio, was chartered in 1827 and opened for revenue service three years later. Within a decade, the still-youthful United States was consumed by railroad-building fever, and by 1854, rails stretched from the Atlantic Ocean to the wide Mississippi River. With California having become a state in 1850, a transcontinental railroad became the ultimate dream of America’s railroad builders, and amid the dark days of the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln signed an act authorizing railroad construction to the continent’s Pacific Ocean shores. With the driving of a golden spike at Promontory Point, Utah, the meeting place of the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads, on May 10, 1869, all of America was linked by rail.
Even before the transcontinental railroad was stretched across the vast American west, railroad mileage in the United States has grown to more than 30,000 miles of trackage. And to build – and maintain – all those miles of track required thousands of workers, track gangs, and gandy-dancers. And that, in turn, required a means – simple, reliable, and inexpensive – to transport the work crews along the rights-of-way.
The solution: A set of flanged wheels (usually four), a platform on which to ride (usually wooden), and a metal mechanism to translate human muscle into forward motion. Enter the much beloved (and often cursed) pump car!
And now, with a bit of fun (and muscle building) in mind, the pump car (also frequently called a handcar) is available for Train Simulator as a free add-on.
Pump cars became a standard fixture of American railroading in the 1860s and it has been estimated that more than 10,000 of the little creations likely were in service during their nineteenth century heyday. Many handcars were built by the individual railroads, but manufacturers such as Buda, Kalamazoo, and Sheffield actively promoted and built handcars into the early twentieth century. Handcars varied in design, from simple push carts to cars operated by a hand-crank mechanism, but the most familiar and famous of the cars were “powered” by riders pushing down and/or pulling up on each side of a see-saw-like set of arms, known as a walking beam. Brakes (if you could call them that) for the pump car were typically provided by a wooden foot pedal.
Depending upon their intended use, car size varied from small, single-person, three-wheeled “velocipedes” to cars capable of carrying a dozen workers, but most cars were designed to carry a typical section crew of four to six workers. The pump car is most synonymous with vintage, nineteenth century American railroading, in part thanks to its appearance in countless Hollywood movies ranging from the 1926 edition of “The General” starring Buster Keaton to Mel Brooks’ 1974 “Blazing Saddles.” But in truth, the handcar was a nearly universal tool of railroaders that could be found around the globe, from Canada to Siberia to Australia.
In the early twentieth century, with the advent of small internal combustion engines, the human-powered handcar quickly made its way into the history books as far as regular railroad use, but acquiring, restoring, riding, and even racing pump cars has since emerged as a hobby.
And, so, it is entirely fitting – and utterly fun – that the pump car makes its way to Train Simulator! Whether you wish to use your pump car for a leisurely ride along a scenic Train Simulator route, to test your driving (and muscle) skills, or to try your hand at some delightful and occasionally tongue-in-cheek challenges, it’s time to get pumped up!
The Pump Car Add-on does not include any career scenarios however, scenarios are available on Steam Workshop online and in-game. Train Simulator’s Steam Workshop scenarios are free and easy to download, adding many more hours of gameplay. With scenarios being added daily, why don’t you check it out now!
Click here for Steam Workshop scenarios.
Common Key Features
- Unique ‘pump’ control operation
- Accurate physics and handling
- Advanced performance characteristics
- Exercise your fingers in the comfort of your own home
- Haul everything from freight cars to entire trains
- Quick Drive compatible
- Download size: 8.2 MB