Union Pacific Motor Cars

This page was last updated on June 28, 2018.

(Return to UP Motor Car Index)

"Red Devil," Short Line's Motor Car, Makes Trial Trip

(Salt Lake Telegram, August 25, 1909, Wednesday)

Gasoline Engine Adequate for Heavy Loads; Fast Time From Omaha

The first of two gasoline motor cars to be installed on the Oregon Short Line between Ogden and Malad, Idaho, arrived in the city Tuesday morning [August 24, 1909] and a trial trip was made yesterday afternoon to Saltair beach by A. B. Stevenson, superintendent of the Utah division of the Oregon Short Line; J. V. Tedford, of the passenger department, and a party of newspaper men. The trip was made in good time, but no attempt at speeding was made on account of the car following a Saltair train.

In coming from the shops in Omaha, G. H. Updergraft reports the first 153 miles were covered in five hours, and that over the Denver and Rio Grande fifty-eight miles an hour was averaged by the car. The car left Omaha last Wednesday morning [August 18, 1909] at 9:30 o'clock and reached Ogden Sunday night [August 22, 1909] at 9 o'clock.

The McKeen motor car is the first of its kind that has ever been used in this region. The establishment of the service between Ogden and Malad, Idaho, will commence next Monday [August 30, 1909], with the following crew: Conductor, F. B. McCune; engineer, William Vance; and brakeman, W. A. Jones. The second car will arrive in the city within a week or so, and at first will be used only in cases of emergency.

The car called "Red Devil," is painted maroon, winning the appellation of "The Red Devil". It is built of steel, the only wood in its construction being the finishing. The motor is located in the front of the car, with the six cylinder gasoline engine mounted directly on the trucks instead of the body of the car as in earlier designs. The front of the car is made so as to give it the least resistance when speeding. It is controlled by straight air brakes and when going at a speed of sixty miles an hour can be brought to a standstill within 500 feet.

The car weighs about 60,000 pounds, costing approximately $20,000 and is seventy-two feet long. There are two entrances to the passenger compartment of the car, both at the front. The car has three sections, the engine room, the baggage and mail room, and the passenger compartment. It can hold about sixty people, the seats accommodating three persons. A large circular seat is in the rear of the car from which passengers get an excellent view of the landscape, and there is no smoke or dirt. The seats are leather colored and the finish is in mahogany.

With the acetylene gas lights the interior of the car is lighted with a mellow light that does not hurt the eyes. Gasoline sufficient for a 300 mile run can be stored in a tank for that purpose, located in a place where there is no danger of explosion. About one gallon of gasoline is consumed to every 3.03 miles.

Number 480 and "Oregon Short Line" is painted on the exterior of the car. The car is absolutely fire proof. It is less expensive than a steam car.

The car is ventilated with large circular windows. When open, they resemble a series of framed pictures in an art gallery. Two fine, polished mirrors adorn the front end of the passenger section.

With an engine of 200 horsepower there is no danger of loading the car too heavily. At the invitation of D. E. Burley, general passenger agent of the Oregon Short LIne, the party left the Oregon Short Line depot at 5:45 o'clock yesterday evening and made the trip to Saltair in less than half an hour. Arriving at Saltair the party was invited by J. E. Langford, the manager of the resort, to take a dip in the Great Salt Lake. Owing to the strange appearance that the car presented at the siding near the salt works, the population came out en masse to see it.