Premier Railroad Automobile

The photograph accompanied an article about a unique application of an automobile in the trade newspaper, The Automobile, dated October 21, 1909. The car is a Premier, an Indianapolis-built product and was modified with six steel wheels so it could run on a railroad track. This came about as a mining community in a remote region of California looked for affordable, cost effective transportation solutions. One of the conditions of the times it reflects is the lack of not just good roads, but any path possible by cars. The population of the area did not provide the business case to invest in a full-blown locomotive. Premier cars were a favorite of Indianapolis Motor Speedway Founder Carl Fisher. Another report on this anomaly can be found elsewhere on First Super Speedway.
Below is the text of the article, which should explain everything.
"Many small mining towns of the West and Southwest are isolated and have no regular means of communication with the larger cities nearby. This is particularly the case in the southwestern part of California and Nevada, where the mining towns have sprung up faster than any railroad, no matter how wealthy and well-disposed, could take care of them by building spur tracks from the main line."
"One of the smaller mining towns of California which is so situated in Stone Canyon, which is twenty-two miles from Chanslor, itself a small place and situated two miles from Paso Robles. The latter has railroad service, said to be regular, while Chanslor has a sort of apology for service, but Stone Canyon, has neither service nor apology, not even a stage line. There was, however, rails laid from Chanslor to the Canyon, and Walter Chanslor, of the firm of Chanslor & Lyon, well-known automobile dealers of Los Angeles, conceived the idea of supplying the long-felt want by rigging up a touring car with steel wheels."
"This was done and six cast-steel wheels were rigged up to fit a big six-cylinder Premier, which will make regularly scheduled trips between the two towns. Seven passengers will be carried, and for the service afforded, the fare is not excessive."
"This service will place Stone Canyon on the map and its citizens in communication with the outside world by other means than the laboring burro. When the auto line was proposed by Chanslor, who has large holdings in the town, the residents there were enthusiastic over the proposition and a right of way twenty-two miles long was speedily granted. Long stretches of deep sand intervene between the towns of Paso Robles and Stone Canyon. It takes many hours to make the trip by wagon. The motor car will make the trip in an hour or even less."

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