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Fairbanks and Sheffield gasoline engine

Washington State Library
  • Railroad Cars
  • Railroad Handcars
  • Transportation & Travel


A restored Fairbanks, Morse & Co. railroad motor car/gas engine, built by the Sheffield Car Company of Three Rivers, Michigan. One of only three of its kind known to exist, production of cars of this type began circa 1910, although it is unknown exactly when this car was built. Donated by Art Gilbert, formerly employed by the Great Northern Railway. Odessa Record excerpt: "Gilbert acquired the ca in 1956 from the late Nat Maier, whose brother was an electrical contractor, using the car when he worked for the railroad. It regularly ran between Leavenworth and the Cascade Tunnel." (Odessa Record: undated) The motor car is one of a number of new innovations seen by the Great Northern Railway in the 1900s. Not only did gasoline engines come about, but a new name for the railway occurred during that period; the Great Northern Railway was later changed to the Burlington Northern Railway. Restored to its current condition by Pat Gies.

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