Norfolk Western N&W Railroad M19 Fairmont Speeder Car, 1960's H Model Railway



This Model H, Fairmont Speeder Car M19 was acquired from a local collector in Virginia. The Norfolk and Western railway speeder, or motor car, was used for inspection and maintenance of railroad tracks.

Speeder cars were manufactured by Fairmont Railway Motors Inc. in the early 1960's. This class M19, H Model car was likely retired between 1984-1985 when Norfolk & Western's successor, Norfolk & Southern, retired the remainder of their speeders. The "M" in "M19" indicates this car was from the "Master Series", which were the highest-end model speeder produced by Fairmont.

The M19 series was nicknamed "Safety Quick", as it was utilized for inspection of rails. With a capacity of up to two crew members, this was a smaller variety of speeder.

Cabin Details: Inside the cabin are 2 upholstered leather seats; between which, hand controls are found. The center control console has two access panels that open to reveal the hit-and-miss style motor and components. On the right side of the engine housing, is a removable crank lever, used to start the motor. On the left side of the cabin (if facing forward while seated), two latched boxes are mounted to the wall below the window. The top box is black, while the bottom box is a white first aid kit with supplies. Each front interior corner holds multiple flags, 2 red, 1 white on the left, 3 perforated red/orange flags on the right.

Exterior Details: The exterior of this motor car consists of an aluminum body on a steel frame. The frame is unpainted and has topical rust, the body is painted yellow, and has an unpainted, aluminum roof.
Two aluminum rods run the length of the speeder allowing it to be picked up from one side (as one would a wheelbarrow), to turn the car around on the tracks. On the left side of the car (if looking from the front), is a lever activated, gong style bell, above a painted "N&W" medallion logo.
The front of the speeder has 2 white headlights below the windshield, as well as 2 white and 2 red lights, and 2 windshield wipers,  above the windshield. Two latching boxes are also found on the front of the car, under each headlight, currently containing various electronics. In the rear, there are 2 red brake lights, and one white work light.

A feature of the "Master Series" is enclosed cabins; 3 heavy-duty, canvas curtains are provided to protect operators from the elements. This car has six windows, all made with safety glass. 2 large panes in front, 1 tall, narrow pane on each side, and 2 short, wide panes in the rear. This well-preserved piece of American railroad history would make a wonderful restoration project.

Condition: The body and frame of this car are in good condition; however, the condition of the electronics, wiring, and engine are unknown. The previous owner told us that it runs. While attempts have not been made to start or operate any controls or instruments, it has a hand crank starter that turns over when cranked. The brakes work.

History: This speeder was acquired from a collector's warehouse in Rural Retreat, Virginia. This pick was featured in season 9 of the DiY Network show "Salvage Dawgs".

Measurements: 86" L x 66" W x 67" H
Weight: 1400 lb.

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