LESS EXPENSIVE THAN MOST ADDITIONS
ECONOMICAL TO HEAT, COOL AND LIGHT
INDEPENDENT SINGLE FLOOR LIVING
The Roundhouse Workshop, L.L.C., presents the American alternative to the popular European
Shepherd’s Hut. Our Classic American Railcars are built from the frame up like their 1880s
predecessors, the 3’ narrow-gauge railcar. Classic timber framing joinery and diagonal bracing
are held in compression through solid steel rods from the roof all the way to the lower steel
frame. This construction made the railcar rail-worthy and long lasting. Our version encompasses
those details and level of quality.
Railroad companies constantly repurposed their “rolling stock” when needed. We are inspired by
that resourcefulness. Not only is our product bringing a new purpose to the classic railcar
design, but we love to repurpose wood and architectural features as part of the interior design.
Our products embrace American history and the architecture that has defined it.
We use our prototype Classic American Boxcar as our mobile idea showcase.
“But where did you get the old Boxcar?”
We have been frequently asked this question. It isn’t old we just attempted to make it look that
way. No vintage or antique boxcar was harmed in any way building our little Boxcar. it is a brand
new car (yes we call it a car) built in our shops, using similar methods, materials and 1870s
design technology wherever we can.
The chassis, framing, siding, interior, trim, flooring, roofing and most windows are hand crafted
from new materials and assembled in our shop. The only old, antique or salvage materials used
are from our private collection to contribute to the “historic” visual atmosphere. A few were
carefully selected knowing that we could replicate them should a buyer be interested in a similar
“So why don’t you use a real Boxcar?”
A modern boxcar is massive compared to our Narrow gauge reproduction. In fact you could
easily fit two of our Boxcars in one of today’s boxcars with room to spare!
It just wouldn’t be practical to use a “modern” boxcar unless it stays on a railroad or you plan on
leaving it where it gets delivered. It’s also incredibly expensive and would be a major operation.
To move a modern boxcar over the road would require the use of at least one commercial
tractor trailer and high and wide road permits. Hopefully height wont be problem otherwise you
will need to move utility lines in route. If you want the steel Boxcar wheel assemblies you will
need another truck and trailer. A large crane is often used to load and then unload the Boxcar.
Once it gets delivered it will likely stay there.
Our little Narrow Gauge Boxcar doesn’t require anything but a full size pickup truck to move it
over the road legally.
“What is Narrow Gauge?”
Railroad gauges refer to the spacing between
the rails on a railroad. Just prior to the civil war
in the northern United States the gauge most
common was 4 feet 8 1/2 inches or “Standard
Gauge”. In the southern states it was wider
and better sized and suited to transport
cotton bales. During the war this difference in
gauges made moving troops and material over
the oppositions railroads difficult.
About 1877 there was a new gauge promoted
in America called Narrow Gauge, so named because its rails were closer to each other than the
widest gauges in in use. While there were and still are many Narrow Gauges in use, the most
popular Narrow gauge used by railroad companies would eventually be 3 foot gauge.
Narrow gauge promised financial savings. Not only were the rails closer to each other but the
the locomotives and cars were much smaller and lighter too. The locomotives, cars and rail
could be more easily moved over unimproved dirt roads in wagons to any location needing a
railroad but far from one.
The right of way, or the road for laying the track upon, could be narrower than standard gauge,
an important consideration when earth was moved by men with picks shovels and wheelbarrow.
Bridges mostly made of wood could be smaller to carry less weight. Narrow gauge was a most
important development to lumber companies and mines who would often be in the most
remote of locations needing to quickly lay track and then move it and their equipment to a new
Three foot gauge railroads still operate throughout the United States and around the world.
Most are museum or tourist railroads operating vintage equipment. Our reproduction Railcars
are based on models built in the late 1800s. They may look and feel old but they are new and
based on actual 3 foot gauge railroad equipment.
Standard and narrow gauge railcars.
Copyright © 2019 Roundhouse Workshop L.L.C.