The Roundhouse Podcast

039: Teen Restoring a McKeen Railcar

McKeen Railcar Cuyamaca039: Teen Restoring a McKeen Railcar

McKeen Railcar – Madison Kirkman

At the age of 15, Madison Kirkman embarked on a journey to save and restore one of the last remaining McKeen Motor Cars in existence.  Now 17, he shares his journey with us and what it will take to bring the ‘Cuyamaca’ back to the rails.

To learn more about this fascinating project, visit

Question of the Day (47:05)

What is your favorite self-propelled railcar?  Let me know and I will respond to your comments in our next episode.

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7 thoughts on “039: Teen Restoring a McKeen Railcar

  1. Sean

    Excellent story!

    I was always fascinated by photos of McKeen cars but had never known their history. The one that got me interested ran on the Electric Short Line “Luce Line” in Minnesota before the line was tore up by the C&NW in the 1960’s.

    As for my favorite self-propelled railcar, I always liked the Brill cars, but RDC’s are the best!

  2. Nick Resar

    I’m a fan of the New York Central’s M-497 just for the sheer insanity of strapping a pair of jet engines to an RDC and seeing how fast it could go. Officially the top speed was 183 mph but a gentleman that I heard said that they actually hit 200 mph and that the official speed was taken while slowing down.

  3. Brody Brown

    My favorite electric cars are the original Interborough Rapid Transit subway cars used in New York City at the turn of the century. I wish I had MSTS so I could get the NYC subway add on that I saw on At The Railyard.

    My favorite diesel car has to be the Budd RDC because of its silver streamlined appearance and for its use on the Alaska Railroad.

  4. Brody Brown

    My favorite diesel cars are the Budd RDCs because of their silver streamlined appearance. I fell in love with my favorite electric car when I watched one of Nick’s At The Railyard videos: 1904 New York City. I love the famous wooden Interborough Rapid Transit cars as seen in the video. Some are preserved today!

    To Nick Resar-
    The M-497 was tested on the Chicago Line, not far from my home in Indiana!

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