Medford Railroad Park

Fairmont A-3 Motor Car

(Motor Car Rides!)

The Chapter maintains and operates a Fairmont A-3 Motor Car at the Railroad Park on which the public is invited to ride.

Motor Cars, often called speeders by the railroads, were once the main means of transportation for maintenance of way workers, signal maintainers and track inspectors on railroads across America. Today they have been replaced by hi-rail trucks and pickups, however, a number remain in the hands of private individuals who have restored them and run them with clubs in sanctioned events on friendly short lines and out-of-service track. The Chapter was fortunate to be able to acquire a couple of these and has restored one to operating condition and offers rides to Railroad Park visitors on public run days.

Video of the Motor Car Departing Fraser Station

Video of our Motor Car Arriving back at Fraser Station, right after a Live Steamer's train streaks past.

Tony Johnson has provided some history and photos of this car:

It was used by the WCTU Railway [it was known as White City Terminal & Utility Railway  back then] but I don't know if they acquired it new or secondhand. Most likely it came secondhand. I videotaped it in 1995 being used to spray weeds in White City. Sometime in the late 1990s someone at WCTU thought the wheels A-3 would make an old Datsun pickup truck into a great hi-rail truck, so they took the wheels and axles off and made one. The rest of the A-3 they stored on a pallet. Unfortunately, the railway soon found out the pickup truck was too powerful and the wheels slipped a lot.

WCTU Railway's high-rail Datsun pickup after retirement and the axles from the A-3 were removed.

The old A-3 is stacked off the ground in pieces.

In early 2005 our chapter acquired what was left of the A-3 frame, handrails, and so on. It sat on a pallet until later that year when WCTU scrapped the Datsun pickup truck and donated the wheels and axles they used off the A-3.

The A-3's axles after removed from under the Datsun pickup.

The frame, wheels and controls are assembled so we can see what repairs may be necessary.

The A-3's frame, axles, motor and control levers were reassembled in late 2005/early 2006 to see what repairs were necessary.

In June 2007 Jerry Hellinga fabricated new frame parts to replace missing and bent parts and installed the axles, engine, transmission and rear end. Art Turner performed the rebuilds of the engine, transmission and rear end as well as sheet metal repairs and some of the painting. During the next few months of 2007 chapter member Ken Hill did the wood work, installation of the floor, seats, seat covers and engine compartment sides. Various other chapter members assisted in this work.

Don Pettit, Jerry Hellinga, and John Powell admire Jerry's repair work on the frame.

The A-3 at Railroad Park after being restored by Jerry, Art, and Ken.


A nicely-restored A-3 in October 2007 and the chapter began giving rides on it the following year.

The newly restored A-3 makes its first test run on our NRHS track.

The Chapter's Motor Car Crew (at least on October 23, 2011)

Ken Hill

Richard Houston

Syd Stoner

Landon Humphry