O-Gauge Pike Highballs Hot Cargo (Jun, 1949)

This is a really cute hack using model trains to transport radioactive materials throughout a hospital.

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O-Gauge Pike Highballs Hot Cargo
KIDS long ago became resigned to seeing Daddy play with their toy trains most of the time. Now some grown men have taken over a model railroad full time—and they are not just playing. The miniature electric train carries highly radioactive radon gas, used in cancer treatment and research, back and forth between a storage room and a laboratory, eliminating dangerous handling.

The model—a standard Lionel O-gauge locomotive copied from the Pennsylvania Railroad’s GG-1—shuttles over a 21-ft. right of way, hauling its “hot” cargo in a lead-lined flatcar. It is the first part of a completely automatic system for transporting radon in the Cleveland Clinic. Eventually, reports Dr. Otto Glasser, medical physicist, the train will be equipped with an automatic dumping device to drop the radon capsule into a pneumatic tube. This will shoot the capsule directly to the hospital’s surgery room. When this system is completed, technicians will hardly need come near the radon.

1 comment
  1. Stannous says: June 23, 200610:51 am

    Anybody else picturing Gomez Addams?

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