Trackmobiles are a cross between a locomotive and a tractor and are built by the Whiting Corporation. Other companies under other trade names build similar machines. They are capable of moving a handful of cars on the rails and then moving themselves by road to another location to move some more cars.
The Museum’s Trackmobile was built in 1957 for Manitoba Hydro and later sold to Canadian Pacific. The CPR used it to move cars and locomotives requiring repairs in and out of its shops in Sutherland. CPR later sold it to a local farmer who in turn sold it to the museum in 1993.
The Trackmobile is equipped with a Ford 292 cid V8 engine, the same as used in contemporary Ford and Meteor automobiles. It has a complicated transmission system that allows the engine to drive either the road or rail wheels. The road wheels are raised and lowered by hydraulics. The hydraulics are also used to transfer some of the load from the cars to the trackmobile to aid in traction.
The Trackmobile was re-built by Agricultural Machinery Mechanics students as a project at SIAST Kelsey Campus over the winter of 1998/99 and until recently, was in excellent operating condition. Unfortunately, this unit recently experienced a significant crack in the bellhousing, putting it out of action for the 2007 operating season. Museum volunteers are assessing it to determined what is required to repair or replace it. Any members of the public who can assist in getting this workcar back on the tracks are encouraged to contact the museum.