Following the Second World War, Canadian railways began to use automobiles and trucks equipped with flanged wheels to transport workers and equipment along their tracks to isolated locations. With their standard and flanged wheels (which could be raised or lowered), these "hy-rail" vehicles provide flexibility for the railways that could use them on public roads or the company's tracks.

You can occasionally see a modern version, either a pickup truck or sport utility vehicle (SUV) with flanged wheels, travelling along the highways and country roads to a railway crossing where it will be positioned onto the tracks and driven to the intended destination to pick up or drop off workers and equipment.

The Society's 1958 Pontiac Station Wagon is an early example of a Canadian National Railway hy-rail car. It has been restored to operating condition and occasionally is demonstrated at the Canada Science and Technology Museum. The Society acquired the vehicle in 1967 from Canadian National as one of its first acquisitions for its work train theme.


Technical Information

Type and Origin



General Motors. Fairmont

Model Pontiac Chieftain
Build date 1958
Body and Chassis
Layout FR layout
Platform GM B platform
Engine 370 cu in (6.1 L) V8

3 Speed Automatic. Super Hydra-Matic

Weight TBD
Brakes Drum (Hydraulic)
Wheelbase 3,098.80 mm (122.000 in)
Length 5,346.70 mm (210.500 in)
Width 77.4 in (1,966 mm)
Height 55.7 in (1,415 mm)