The Ramsey Car Transfer Apparatus (Ramsey Transfer), used to transfer standard gauge cars of the New York, Lake Erie & Western Railroad to the Tonawanda Valley & Cuba Railroad, was a device which permitted railroad cars to operate over different gauges of track by transferring railroad trucks on the cars. The Ramsey Transfer existed in a number of variations covered by several different patents. It was typically used to transfer cars between standard gauge and narrow gauge (usually three feet in width) track.

Two parallel tracks of 18 inches were set approximately nine feet apart. Between these two tracks, the standard and narrow gauge tracks descended into a pit, one from each end of the pit, overlapping in the center and having a common center line. Beams resting on trucks riding on the 18 inch gauge tracks were inserted under the car to have its trucks changed. The car was then pushed over pit, resting on the beams. This allowed the old trucks to slip off of the center pins. The old trucks were pulled out of the pit and new trucks were shoved in from the opposite side. As the car passed over the opposite side of the pit, the new trucks were guided to fit on the center pins. The car now continued on its way, its load undisturbed. It was claimed that the entire procedure could be performed in less than eight minutes.




Researched & Submitted by Richard F. Palmer