YouTuber Builds Rail Go-Kart to Explore Century-Old Abandoned Train Bridge

Preston Summerrow started with a cobbled-together pallet frame, a lawn mower engine, and a wacky soundtrack he made up along the way.

There’s nothing like taking a couple of folding chairs and a pallet and creating a railroad go-kart, then piloting it on an abandoned rail line and setting off toward a goal. At least, that’s how Preston Summerrow feels about it. Recently, the video creator published his second attempt at reaching a century-old bridge in his little-kart-that-could; the first ended in frustration with a broken wheel.

Summerrow, who runs a channel called Prestongoes, calls himself a “wannabe engineer.” While he started his YouTube career as a travel vlogger, in the past year he has dedicated his videos to building odd things like a homemade jetpack and this purpose-built railroad go-kart.

The YouTuber is really into old bridges, and he was particularly interested in getting to the Goat Canyon Trestle Bridge on the south side of the Anza-Borrego Desert in California. One of the largest freestanding wooden trestles in the world at 200 feet tall and 750 feet wide, this bridge is inaccessible unless you’re willing to take on a six-mile round-trip hike with a steep climb out of the canyon. Or, if you’re Prestongoes, a custom rail kart.

Three months ago, the builder started with a wooden frame and mounted a 212-cc Preston (no relation to the YouTuber himself) lawn mower engine to it. He bought a set of cheap wheels on Amazon and made a go at it.

go-kart on a railroad track

For Railroad Kart 1.0, Summerrow used his feet as a brake, and added a simple board as a brake for version 2.0. His wheels had rusted out since he last used the kart, and while several commenters recommended conical wheels to navigate the rails, Summerrow opted for another cylindrical set instead with mixed results.

I don’t want to spoil the entire video for you, so I’ll just say that with a little creativity and motivation from his buddy Mo riding shotgun, Summerrow is happy with the outcome. He even offers a few inspirational words at the end. Go check it out; it’s a solid way to spend 21 minutes.

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