Since 1991, Folsom, El Dorado, and Sacramento Historical Railroad Association has hosted the annual Folsom Handcar Derby on the former Southern Pacific Placerville Branch, where local businesses, groups, and charities compete to get their handcar across the finish line in the fastest time.
The event also features competitions for individual strength and endurance, and it’s the only known event in the world to feature quadripede racing!
- Our official racing handcars are provided for time trials & racing.
- Timing is done electronically.
- The event runs rain or shine.
- All proceeds benefit Folsom, El Dorado, and Sacramento Historical Railroad Association, a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.
Each team is comprised of 5 members: 4 pumpers and 1 pusher. The pusher pushes the handcar into motion at the beginning of the track, and then the pumpers take over and pump the handcar to the end of the track.
Each team’s pusher will automatically be entered in the pushers contest on Sunday. Pushers are placed in weight divisions and compete on how far they can push an empty handcar down the track with a single push.
Teams are divided into weight classes. No more than two team members that were part of past first place team in the last three years are allowed.
At least 2 team members must be women.
All entrants must be women.
All entrants must be 55 years old or older.
All must be past first place medal winners from the Folsom Handcar Derby and other handcar races.
The race takes place along East Bidwell Street at Broadstone Parkway in front of Broadstone Marketplace.
Saturday, May 18
|9:00 am – 3:00 pm||Registration/Practice/Qualifying|
Teams get practice, trial time run, and safety training on handcar. All teams from each division running trial runs will advance to the finals.
Sunday, May 19
|8:30am||Pushers Practice Time|
|9:45am – 10:00am||Opening Ceremony|
|2:00pm||Gandy Dancer Walk|
|3:00pm – End||Award Ceremony/Photos|
Awards will be presented to the first and second place teams of each of the nine divisions when at least 4 teams are entered in that division. Pusher Contest awards will be given to the top three distances in all divisions.
All teams are included. It’s an event tradition!
- Entry fee is $25.00 per person for the 5 member team (total $125.00).
- The first 20 teams entered will receive a short-sleeve Folsom Handcar Derby t-shirt (5 shirts per team, $3.00 extra for each XXL shirt).
- Quadripede racing is $10.00 per person per race. Two people are required to race.
- Pushers Contest is $5.00 per person (if not already a pusher for a team)
Rules & Safety
Please refer to the rules below for each event you are planning to participate in: