Hampton & Branchville M-200

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The Hampton and Branchville operated the Edwards motor car M-200 from 1926 to 1951. Does anyone know of or have photographs of this car in operation? Does anyone know how to contact M.B. Connery or access to his collection? This railroad connected with both the C&WC and ACL.

-- Larry K. Neal, Jr. (lkneal@ncsl.dcr.state.nc.us), July 26, 1999


The H&B Edwards M-200 at Spencer Shops is missing its mechanical transmission. According to sources on the H&B and the Atlantic & Western RR in Sanford, NC, the ring gear broke in the transmission in about 1951 and the H&B wrote to the Edwards Motor Car Co. of Sanford, NC about a replacement. Unfortunately, Edwards had closed its railcar manufacturing operation just before WWII. The letter was finally delivered to the A&W General Manager, probably because some old-timer at the Sanford Post Office remembered that Mr. Edwards had been Master Mechanic of the A&W and while there had built his first "jitney". The A&W wrote the H&B back with the bad news that there were no spare parts. The H&B railcar remained in its shed until bought by Spencer. Apparently the mechanic who had removed the damaged transmission and disassembled it to find the trouble never put it back on the car and it was lost. This could be replaced using another M-200 transmission as a pattern, but the prime mover is a Buda gasoline engine and they are a bit leery of trying to run it. This is supposedly the last existing Edwards motorcar as originally built, the gasoline engine being replaced in other M-200's like the California Western's Skunk by a diesel.

-- richard lasater (richard.lasater@ncair.net), May 24, 2000.

The H&B motor car has been saved! At Rail Days in Spencer, NC, I saw that they had received the car and had it on display in the roundhouse. It looked to be in excellent condition, and is at last in a place where it not only will be taken cre of, but can be enjoyed by all.

-- Craig Dooley (morgul@att.net), August 28, 1999.

Hi Larry! I'm not well-versed on the H&B, but as of 1995 (when I left the local area) they still had a vintage motor-car stored away on their property. It was/is located in a single stall car barn next to the highway at their headquarters location in Hampton. A friend of mine was a former employee of the Smithsonian and tried in vain to get the H&B guys to donate it to the museum. I also recall hearing an ugly rumor that the car was damaged in a fire...but I can't confirm or deny that report. I saw the car one afternoon and it was totally beautiful and in excellent condition. Next time you're down there, just walk up to the office and they'll open the doors for you so you can have a look. That is, of course, if it's still there. Good hunting! JG

-- John Golden (Golden1014@yahoo.com), August 28, 1999.

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