What is a handcar?
A handcar is a manually propelled track vehicle that travels along railroad tracks. Handcars have 4 wheels, seats, and are powered using both your arms and legs in a rowing motion. Each handcar seats 2-4 riders who all contribute to power the car along the track.
This is a very unique experience being that the track steers you along the route. The rails and wheels are both metal, so you hear the clickity-clack of the track. All you have to do is provide the power!
We designed and fabricated our fleet of handcars from scratch at our shop in Santa Clarita, California.
Can children ride?
For safety concerns children must be 10 years or older to ride our handcar. There are moving parts and the short stature of children present pinch point hazards. Lap seating and baby carriers are NOT permitted.
How hard is it?
Propelling a handcar requires teamwork. This is a physical endeavor that requires moderate effort to participate, as the first half of the trip is mostly uphill. Those that have inactive lifestyle (lot of sitting and lying down, with very little to no exercise) find the experience strenuous. If you cannot hike or ride a bicycle for six miles then this experience will be difficult for you. If you cannot use your arms and legs to propel the handcar then for your safety you cannot participate.
How long is the trip?
The experience is about 1.5 hours long with a break at the halfway point.
How does a tour on a handcar work?
You occupy your own private handcar, but you travel with up to 12 other handcars. Handcars are spaced out along the track and you control its speed and control the brakes. There are staff handcars at the front and rear of the group to ensure safety and to be available in the instance participants need assistance. You need to be on-time as the tours are on tight schedules and cannot wait for late comers.
Can I pass other handcars?
Since handcars ride on a track, passing is not permitted. This is not a race, but we do try to place faster teams towards the front of the group. However, we cannot guarantee your exact placement in the group of handcars.
What should I wear and bring?
All riders MUST wear closed toe shoes!
You should bring water and wear sunscreen. Gloves are also recommended.
You can bring snacks and small carry-on bags that can ride with you in the storage boxes.
Do not wear dresses or skirts. Athletic wear is suggested.
Alcoholic beverages are prohibited.
Animals are NOT permitted!
How much does it cost?
A trip on a handcar, which seats up to 4 people costs $200 + $4 booking fee. You are reserving the ENTIRE handcar whether you have 2, 3, or 4 riders.
Can I cancel or reschedule my tour?
You can cancel or reschedule your tour within 72 hours of your scheduled tour for any reason. The booking fee is not refundable. Keep in mind that rebooking may not be available for the same weekend as our remaining tours are mostly fully booked. If you wish to reschedule your tour contact us and we can make the change.
We have one two person electric assist rail bicycle that is available for tours. The rail bicycle can accommodate younger children than the handcars. The rail bicycle is electric assist equipped and will give you help climbing the grades without effort. Contact us if you wish to book the rail bicycle for any of our tours this winter and spring. We are currently building a fleet of rail bicycles that will be ready for tours Summer 2023.