Pictures of Malta, Montana

Railroad Engine in Malta

This little engine is on display in the main park downtown. I have absolutely no idea what type of engine this is - although it seems like it was some sort of engine used for track laying and track maintenace. I just received an email from J.B. who was a train dispatcher on the BNSF with details about this little locomotive. Here is what he wrote :

What you are looking at is an old Section or Track Inspector "motorcar". It has a Fairbanks, single cylinder, 2-stroke engine.

As soon as the 1970's these were used on the tracks by the Maintenance-of-Way to travel up & down the tracks to perform their work.

Every few miles there was a "motorcar setoff" which consisted of 2 ties stuck under the track which then stuck out from the track. Those handles were used to move the motorcar off the tracks on to the set off when a train was approaching. When the train had passed, the maintenance workers would put them motor car back on the tracks and proceed.

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