Hello tinplate world 

Fred Bauer produced Gravity Railway in the 1920's ....acquiring several patents  1921,1922 , 1923,&1924  ...offering two sizes for different retail  price points  $3.00 & $6.00.   The design and construction changed over the years  by 1929  two models were offered with a smaller foot print .... as the set up Gravity Railway does occupy a fair bit of real -estate  . 

Here is a link to Tin Plate times face book page to see a video of the Railway in action .... 




The construction of the railway would not have taken many set ups and take downs  ..and moving without delicate care ....perhaps the reason why  they have not survived in huge numbers .

Bauer for this and a few of the other surviving examples ( but not all)  uses Ives clock work track ..(stamped Ives)...each section of track and vertical support of numbered to assist the building is hopes that it would operate once completed ......the lager model was sold with two cars ... the smaller model ( only 2 levels and apposed to 3 on the larger) was sold with only one car . 

Has anyone out there ever seen the later models with the smaller foot print as advertised in 1929 ? 


This example has Ives track ...and the track clips found in the 1924 patent . 


Cheers Carey 

Eds 1Ives trackUS1368781-0 patent 1921US1472783-0 patnet 1923US1518893-0 1924 patentDSCN0567DSCN0319



Photos (7)
Original Post

That is very cool.

 What is the diameter? How much elevation is there per level? 

  I've never really seen anything like it outside of Joe Rampola's Automated Mine shaft with the little Snoopy car .

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"


"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.


 Thank you kindly Carey.

 I had read the ad and thought that looked larger than the 16" diameter the ad claims. Looks like someone in the ad dept. forgot the difference between radius and diameter.

 One day, I'll have to try a copy of this idea with the tons of old track I have.

Using a bit less grade of course, since track isn't superelevated for curves like that clockwork track is..


"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"


"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.


Hello Tom 

Yes I confess to owning the Bauer ......truth be known I have two ......  the big (3) loop version as shown .... 2 loop version ..not shown .... If you are interested in the two loop version send me an email / smoke signals 

I bought these at York ....   I know of 2 other of the 3 loops version and one of the two loop out in the free world ....so it would be a very small convention if all owners got together ..... they are neat ...and a fun action packed piece for the layout ....which is where my 3 loop version will spend it's time ......


Cheers Carey 




Hi Carey,

I looked for your email, but it is not in your profile.

Whoa! What a nice gesture. I am trying to downsize (well, not really downsizing as much as limiting more purchases) at this point in my life and as you pointed out they take up some real estate, so I should probably pass on it. Most likely, I will regret it a month from now or maybe even the second after I post this! Thanks though!



I want to emigrate and come live in Careys basement ... I will be good I promise !

Fascinating Stuff as always Carey and like some of the german Technofix I have this brings a smile to my face

Gravity is something used to great effect by some of the early manufacturers and the implimentation of it is sheer genius , for a small bit of effort ( or clockwork) you get a bigger net visual result ...

40 years later ...


Clockwork guys have a spring in their step!

MNCW posted:


  Could you take a picture of the car wheels when you have time and post it?


here are a few close-ups of the "gondola" including the patent date for this style. This version of the car looks more like two benches facing each other. Only one journal is slotted on each axle and on opposite sides to allow the car to negotiate turns. 

bauer axlesbauer patent datebauer verticalbauer cocked axles

As you can see from the video, earlier cars had a continuous side panel and one of the patent photos shows another version of the car with front and rear benches instead for two facing each other. 

bauer no. 11 and 203 gravity railways

Got this car as a throw-in to a cheapo box lot. Took me a while to find out what it was, the patent date was no help, but I remembered this old post from a few years back. 

Jim O'C

Upstate NY/So VT


Photos (5)

Add Reply

OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653