We are a family owned and operated business that manufactures and exhibits historic replica handcars. As the only worldwide manufacture of railroad handcars, our mission is to keep the technology alive through manufacture, distribution, and education. Our collection of handcars includes both modern replicas and original rebuilt machines. We maintain more than 2000 square feet of industrial manufacturing space dedicated to the manufacture of handcars that we export around the world.
Mason’s handcar interest began when he was 12 years old and built his first railroad handcar. By the time he was 16 he had a thriving business building and selling handcars to customers around the world. In 2019 Mason graduated with honors from the prestigious Cal Poly Pomona’s Mechanical Engineering Program. While at Cal Poly he designed an all-new touring handcar that we are currently manufacturing for our tour enterprise. It was the handcar that stimulated Mason into choosing a career path in mechanical engineering. The handcar enterprise is a side business for Mason. During the day he is employed as a mechanical engineer working in the aerospace field.
Todd is well known in the railroad enthusiast world as the creator and owner of the popular website known as Trainorders.com. The web site is the largest and most encompassing railroad hobby site of its kind. Between 2001 and 2014, Todd owned and operated Coast Rail, a popular rail travel business that carried thousands of passengers aboard privately owned passenger cars, behind regularly scheduled Amtrak trains.
Our company is organized as the Museum of Handcar Technology LLC. Under this umbrella we operate a manufacturing side for building and selling human powered railroad vehicles. We also operate an interpretive side for educating and hosting handcar tours aboard our fleet of vehicles.
Kalamazoo Manufacturing Company
We manufacture our handcars under the Kalamazoo Manufacturing Company label. Kalamazoo was the last of the large manufacturers to produce handcar products into the late 1950s. Their final handcar was delivered to Walt Disney and is on display at Main Street Disneyland Station in 1957. In 2016 we resurrected the Kalamazoo handcar product by fabricating new tooling designed using parts acquired from original Kalamazoo handcars. We export our handcar products to customers around the world. Examples of our handcars can be found in the United States, Canada, and France. Our newly designed touring handcar is produced under the Kalamazoo brand name.
Handcar Tours is the trade name for our tour enterprise. Participants saddle up on one of our rail vehicles and pump the handles to propel the car over the route. Each tour will be led by experienced guides to ensure safe travel. Our primary mission is to educate our patrons in history and science through riding our unique collection of handcar devices.
Our Manufacturing Facility
We build our handcar fleet in our very own factory located in Santa Clarita. Our facility includes a complete machine, metal, wood, and fabrication shop areas. We make nearly all the components found on our handcars, including our wheels and gears.
We are a family business
Handcars have been part of our family since Mason built his first handcar when he was twelve. During the past decade our family has spent many vacations touring rail lines aboard Mason’s handcars. While Mason is the mechanical genius that brings these cars to reality, the entire family pitches in when needed. Sometimes it may be painting, or other times it may be crating a handcar that needs to go to the port for export. We have included some photos from our family vacations in California and Nevada.