1. a small railroad car or platform on four wheels propelled by a mechanism worked by hand, used on some railroads for inspecting tracks and transporting workers.

Origin of handcar

An Americanism dating back to 1840–50; hand + car1
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for handcar

Historical Examples of handcar

  • But even as the handcar was passing him Mr. Trimm regretted his hastiness.

  • He was thus engaged when the handcar rattled over the bridge.

    Trading Jeff and his Dog

    James Arthur Kjelgaard

  • He made a jump off the right-of-way, and as the handcar flashed by he watched its flight from the covert of a weed tangle.

  • Bannon walked back to the tracks, in time to see a handcar and trailer, packed with men, come up the track and stop near at hand.

    Calumet 'K'

    Samuel Merwin

  • He carried 'Thusia to the street and rested her on a handcar that stood beside the railway and wrapped her in his greatcoat.

    Dominie Dean

    Ellis Parker Butler