College - Author 1

College of Engineering

Department - Author 1

Mechanical Engineering Department

Degree Name - Author 1

BS in Mechanical Engineering

College - Author 2

College of Engineering

Department - Author 2

Mechanical Engineering Department

Degree - Author 2

BS in Mechanical Engineering



Primary Advisor

Eileen Rossman, College of Engineering, Mechanical Engineering Department


This project’s sponsor is Swanton Pacific Railroad, a 1/3 scale railroad in Santa Cruz, CA. Our team was given the task of upgrading a maintenance cart used to clear debris from the track and level the gravel ballast during maintenance projects. Our focus was to upgrade the blowing system used to clear any debris. The current system used is a hydraulic fan with a single length of ducting serving as its outlet. Our solution is to mount two Stihl backpack leaf blowers to manufactured saddles and mount the assembly to the cart in place of the hydraulic fan. Ducting is run in a front and rear assembly, each being fed by one leaf blower. The front ducting splits into two sections and terminate in 3D printed nozzles designed for this project. Its purpose is to blow debris out from between the tracks. The rear ducting assembly splits and is routed off the sides of the cart to blow debris further away from the track. The entire project is then mounted in place to the maintenance cart. The assembly holding the leaf blowers in place is designed to be easily removable and the leaf blowers can both be removed for use by an individual. The following report is a summary of the research, design, and manufacturing for this project.