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.

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    18 Discussions


    7 years ago on Introduction

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

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Here's a description of the wiring:


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    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.


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

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


    Reply 8 years ago on Introduction

    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).


    8 years ago on Introduction

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

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