Introduction: Human Powered Night Train

Picture of Human Powered Night Train

This is a human powered parade float for a Christmas night parade. It was built by the Human Powered Vehicle Operators of Ottawa (HPVOoO) . More details can be found on .  The base platform is a human powered tandem recumbent tricycle towing a home made 4'x8' tandem axle 3/4 ton flatbed cargo trailer which in turn is towing a kid's wagon.  The trike lies entirely underneath the bottom locomotive boiler line.  The rest is added superstructure.  The red, green and blue lights are 130m of 2.5mm electro-luminescent wire.  The horn is a real diesel locomotive air horn.


swordchop (author)2015-10-12


swordchop (author)2015-10-12


BillCraft (author)2011-11-12

I would love to build this for Christmas time!!! I was just wondering where you bought all of the EL wire, inverters, and connectors.

rggb (author)BillCraft2011-11-13

Here's a description of the wiring:

tanmanknex (author)2011-06-12

Approximately how much did it cost?

rggb (author)tanmanknex2011-06-12

The EL wire is about $1.20/foot and there is about 400'. There are also 8 inverters that are $10 each? Connectors all told were maybe another $50?

The wood was almost all recycled. The bike rims were in a scrap heap, as was the stove pipe.

A friend gave me the diesel locomotive air horn, but those can fetch anywhere from $300 to $900. The air tank and connectors were $75-$100.

The tandem recumbent trike you can find here:

The trailer was about $200 in metal plus labour.

katerlyn (author)2011-04-26

Can we see it in daytime? I would like to do this to my Rhoadescar.

rggb (author)katerlyn2011-04-27

Sure, there's lots more photos linked from here in a number of levels of detail:

2qwe (author)2011-04-07

An interesting article. Thanks)

TheBlackSharpie (author)2011-03-10

At first I thought this was a light-painting but this is way cooler!

Charlie13 (author)2011-03-02

how heavy is this thing?

rggb (author)Charlie132011-03-02

Here's a rough guess:
tandem: 80 pounds
trailer: 100+ pounds
kid's wagon: 25 pounds
diesel loco air horn: 20 pounds
On top of that is three 10' sections of 2x6", a bit of 2x2" and smaller lumber, 1/2" conduit and the lights basically weigh nothing compared to the rest of this.
So, 275 pounds as a guess? Then you have two adults pedalling, 12 kids in the big trailer and a couple of kids in the wagon. The big trailer is good for 1500 pounds (3/4 ton).

JasonYMN (author)2011-03-01

That's incredible. If I had the time I would so make something like this.

CrazyHowiesBikes (author)2011-03-01

I was searching for the right words to sum up my thoughts, but all I could come up with is "WOW!"

JerryMopar (author)2011-02-28

On eof the most awesome thing ive seen someone make in awhile

DELETED_jorgegunn (author)2011-02-26

Super Awesome

snelpiller (author)2011-02-25


ElvenChild (author)2011-02-25


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