From October 11-13, visitors can get a special treat that only happens once a year. Approximately 20 members of the North American Railcar Operators Association (NARCOA) will have the opportunity to ride on the 1880 Train track on their own privately owned railroad motorcars, called “Speeders.” Members of this nonprofit organization travel to the most picturesque areas in North America for excursions on participating railroads. Spectators and media may view these unique cars on October 11, departing Hill City at 3:45 pm; October 12, departing Hill City at 7:30 am, 10 am and 1:30 pm; and October 13, departing Hill City at 8 am.
In the past, railroad motorcars or “Speeders” were used by the railroads to inspect the many miles of track for defects and to handle track maintenance. They were eventually phased out of the railroads in favor of Hy-Rail Vehicles. Railfans bought the scrap speeders and organized NARCOA in the mid-1980s. The 1880 Train is proud to keep this part of rail history alive.