Manufactured by Fairmont Railway Motors Inc. Fairmont M9, Series C, "Safe Easy" One-Man Inspection Car
Fairmont used three letters to designate car types. "S" was a Standard Series" section car; "A" was an "Advanced Series" section car and "M" was the "Master Series" section car. They also used a "category" name for motorcars. "Light Inspection" or 1-2 men, were car models: M9 nicknamed "Safe Easy", MM9, MR9, 59, M17, and MM17. "Inspection" or 1-4 men, were models "Roadmaster", M12, M16, M19 nicknamed the Safety Quick", MT19, and the 150. "Light Section" or 1-6 men, the M1, and M14 also called the "Light Section Car". "Section" or 1-8 men, were models "Dreadnaught", M2, 75, and S2. "Heavy Duty Section" or 1-8 men, the A2. "Gang" or 1-12 men, MT2, ST2, A2, AT2 and A3. "Extra Gang" or "B & B" 1-12 men, MX3, MX30G, MT2, A4, AF4, and A6. Final group, "Large Extra Gang" or "Hump" 1-12 men, models A6, A7, A8. (ref: Wikipedia)
Digging through the Society's filing cabinet in the shop, our M9 appears to have started life with the Department of Mines and Resources when is was sold by Fairmont directly to the department c/o Mr. N.J. Ogilvie, Geodetic Service, Carling Ave, Ottawa, Ontario. The M9 was shipped directly from Fairmont to a Mr. G.S. Raley in Watino, Alberta on June 30, 1944 (reference invoice: C 5824).
Our Fairmont M9 was purchased from the Department of Energy, Mines and Resources as an asset disposal. Lot Number: 139, Railway Motor Car, maintenance (Track Speeder), Serial No. 65287 for $200.00. Bidder was W.R. Linley cro Bytown Railway Society. Unfortunately there is no date on the paperwork, but it is before November 1982 which is the earliest paperwork we have on file showing BRS volunteers ordering restoration parts.
Our unit is equipped with a drive belt. The one-cylinder two-stroke Fairmont engines used from 1911 onwards is reversible, in that you can set the position of spark ignition and then crank the engine in the required direction of travel. Power to the spark plug is supplied by a vibrating coil enclosed in a wooden box, commonly referred to as a "buzz box". This type of coil was also used in early cars such as the Model T Ford. It was connected to a timer mechanism on the end of the engine shaft, and as the shaft turned, the coil discharged at a set point for a set period once per revolution. Batteries were initially 6V dry cells of limited capacity, which were replaced by 6V lead-acid batteries.