Rescuing a Fairmont "speeder" from the bushes!

Bought a real train! Found this Milwaukee Road 1970 Fairmont MT14L speeder along a garage at a customer's house about a month ago. Said it was for sale and what else, I bought it!

Been restoring Lionel trains for many years so I'm going to restore this beast back to its orginal glory! Looking at a 1-1/2 to 2 year project. Get it up and running and set out on some of the NARCOA (North American Rail Car Operators Association) trips they set up across the United States! See the back country that few people get to see and have fun doing it!

Have it just about torn down, getting parts ready to be blasted, motor and tranny to get rebuilt, painted and start to reassemble!

Suprisingly this is put togather with nuts and bolts and very, very little welding.

A real simple and easy disassembly.

Well know the wife knows where I'll be for the next couple years!







If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you are reading it in English, thank a soldier.

Original Post

I have a MT14-L, former CN car that was my brothers. Also have a MT19-A (CN) and Two Woodings Cars, a CBI (CN) and a CBL (CP).  Also have a former ICRR Kalamazoo Derrick. The MT14-L is the only one I have running. You found a great looking car, and from one of my favorite railroads! Have fun, Mark!


And as the sunset faded, I spoke to the faintest first starlight.
And I said next time, Next time, We'll get it right!

  I can't access the pics for some funky G-reason ()    . The attachment tool should be able to load right from Photos or Drive's clouds, if you could?

They had, to light enough to be taken off the rails for work, and turned too. One big man on the small ones could get it out. Two + for the larger

   I'd bet it's under or around 1000lbs max for some gang cars. Moving is done on planks and/or your own rail... If you like your flanges. But they roll around pretty good once moving. 

   Mostly one direction only, turning is done by stowable poles on the light end for the swing but they are on both ends... like a medical stretcher / wheel barrel .   OR they are turned by a mini turntable mounted to a jack; often one big cylinder and attached to the underside.  Cribbing is a good idea to protect ties that will never be replaced again, and you often still need the poles to get on the rails even using a jack.

  Power might be a belt, chain, gear, or hydraulic drive, by air cooled(lighter) or water cooled industrial motors of many types Ford, OMC, Schryer, Wisconson, VW, etc..  Fairmont are the most common. Heated cabins to open air "picnic benches on wheels".   Code wheels, brakes, & radio; top three concerns imo.

  I'm jealous and excited for you both. Injury stopped the dream here.

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"


"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.


This is powered by a 19.5/20 hp Onan gasoline engine. Peope have been reporting they get around 40 miles to the gallon on trips!

It weighs roughly 1050 lbs.

The frame is steel but the body / cab of it is made out of aluminum. So it is somewhat light weight.






If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you are reading it in English, thank a soldier.


that is a rare Tomha cab car. You got a good find there. The Milwaukee Road took a basic Fairmont and built the cab kits for them.  we have a MT-19 Thoma at our RR. even rarer. The Beauty of the car is your out of the weather. The engine is a Onan CCKB. 18 HP. more like 30 MPG on the rails. I think your car weighs about 1800 lbs with the cab on it. Or it will when you add all the stuff on it. 

Sheet metal looks real nice. That saves a ton of work. 

This is my main car I use on big trips. MT-14 Cab car. It was a chicken coup when I got mine. 


You may want to contact me off line. I can get you pointed in all directions for the parts.  Any reason your rebuilding the engine or Tranny? There very durable. A buddy of mine does the transmission rebuilds, he has all of the parts and procedures. 

Goggle "Fredericksburg shops", Dean  will have all the little stuff you will need. I typically get the new wheels for the Narcoa membership. He has the trailers and car Turntables to spin the car. 

It's a great hobby, a way to see America's back yard. 




Photos (1)

As far as I know and what I have been told, this more then likely hasn't run in about 20+ years. All the rubber parts are hard and brittle. The motor did turn over and wasn't locked up.

Did a leak down test on the cylinders and goes right on by. So it will get rebuilt and last another 50 years. As for the tranny, it is more then likely in good shape.

Unknown how may miles or hours are on it or how well it was taken care of, so to be on the safe side start with a fresh motor and paint job!

fun little project!





If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you are reading it in English, thank a soldier.

Ha, "OMC" is boat motors... I meant Onan, Ive done it before on points for a generator too, one heck of part difference, lol.

Thanks Franktrain 

  A bit heavier on the cabin that I thought.  Nice, and I'd wanna say the second most common brand ...?

  Looks like you're not procrastinating either 

  If it sat I'd have flooded it and/or gave time for oil to get to the valves.  Valves might just be lightly stuck by fuel or oil varnish. Flooding and/oil lubricates and cleans plus starting action vibrations can free them usually. Flooding can also help seat new rings, or reseat them. I don't know why exactly, just that when new motors intially just wont start, flooding has worked. (old hot rodder did it a few times and it has been a fallback method ever since...could just be stoich takes more fuel that is beleivable with extra blowby of new or rusty rings/walls.)

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"


"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.



  Very interesting project. Looks like you just have something a little bigger than your Lionel trains to work on now! You even got Adriatic to come out of "lurker" mode. Good luck and looking forward to your updates.

  Hope you can save what I assume is the original Milwaukee Road logo (the good one, at least). 

  Once you get it restored, what kind of options do you have in terms of where to run it? 


Tom, there is a organization called NARCOA (North American Rail Car Operators Association) with 11 chapters across the country. These chapters set up excursions where you can operate your motor car. But it isn't all that easy either.

You have to belong to the organization, you have a "Book of Rules" you must read and pass a 50 question test, you have to have insurance to operate your car on an excursion, your car must pass a safety inspection by NARCOA as they require several items and safety equipment on your car, on your first trip out, you have an experienced operator called a mentor who rides along with you and makes sure you can operate the motor car properly and safely!

After all that, then its time to enjoy the ride!






If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you are reading it in English, thank a soldier.

I used to have an SP MT-14; bought it at the Sacramento Shops auction; got it home, cleaned the carb and fresh gas and it ran (the battery was even still good!) No top, but I did get the deluxe seats. Took it on one run, and decided it HAD to have a top! It also came with a tool can FULL of old torpedoes--which the fire department had the bomb squad take away! (I stopped in there to ask how I should dispose of them). Had a lot of fun with it for a few years, (rode the entire McCloud river railroad on it; track that is now long gone). But the hobby got more expensive (insurance and run fees) and our lives got busy, so we sold it (rats!); although I still have an M-19 (ex WP) very plain Jane car, not even a windshield, and a Fairmont supplies trailer. However made one big mistake: sold the hauling trailer with the MT-14!!


David "two rails" Dewey


Your post makes me think back to a lot of speeders I got. I saw an add from a guy out west selling off 6 Rio grande speeders. Nice MT-19B model cars. They were sold as parts cars. I shipped them out of California all the way across the us to Virginia. They had sat in the desert for a good ten years untouched. I picked the best of the lot to get started. The car I had picked had the fuel lines and wiring rotted off. Otherwise the car was good less the doors missing. 

I wired up the ignition and put a new fuel tank and fuel line on it. Pushed the button and bang it started right up. Problem was it has sat in the desert for ten years collecting dust everywhere. you would have though a smoke grenade went off in the car. The flywheel was packed full of dust and just hurlied into the cab. I was out of the car in two seconds wondering what had happened. 

I had to replace the fuel pump but that was it. the desert had actually preserved the mechanicals but just faded the paint and got the exposed rubbers.  I think the car had less than 200 hours on it and has been a gem of a find. I think I have put 15,000 miles on the car. 

I returned the car out west on a series of Narcoa excursions, I was on a run in Leadville. We new the FRA was inspecting the line from our safety briefing. I'm cruising along and all the sudden the FRA guy picks me out of the pack and directs me to stop. He runs up to the car and asked me where I got the car. Turns out he had been an inspector for the Rio Grande and always wondered what happened to all the speeders. It wasn't his car, but same model. He returned the favor and got me a sheet of all the speeder assignment  locations. My car was assigned to Helper Utah. My other goody was Obvious. it is stencilled "shop Loaner". 

I have never touched the paint on the car given its sun bleached finish. The orange paint has faded in various shades to white looking like a "Creamsicle". I have people walk up to me asking when I going to paint it, and many others say oh don't paint it, they love the original  patina. 

Looks like it has a Tomah Cab........ Built by the Milw Shops in Tomah Wisconsin......   The Milw MT14 we have in Sturtevant had the Fairmont Fabric Curtains........   I would like to get a tracing of the Plywood cover that covers the transmission / fuel tank area as ours ir rotted out

Model Railroading is Fun
Mike Slater

Whenever aluminum is bolted to steel, there will be preferential  galvanic corrosian on the aluminum. Anti-seize compound will help, as well as pre-painting both surfaces. On the liner United States, the aluminum superstructure was separated from the steel with a plastic sheet, and the bolts insulated by non-metal sleeves and washers.

Laz, as for how fast, 30 mph on good, smooth, welded track but mostly on jointed track it will be in the 20 mph range.

As for seats, this one did not orginally come with seats in it.

There are seats and brackets made for the cars now. I will be adding 4 of them to it.

Who wants to sit on plywood, those old timers were tough!





If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you are reading it in English, thank a soldier.

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