Inspection Vehicles

CP Wickham Car

Wickham cars were built in Wickham, England. Only four of these cars were ever transported to Canada. The Canadian Pacific M-297 Wickham car (maroon) was built in 1955. The Canadian National 23 Wickham car (green) was built in 1954.

Wickham cars were used for rail inspection and track crews. The cars could carry up to nine people in a climate-controlled enclosure, which is bi-directional. Speed wise, the Wickham cars were comparable to a car on a highway. In the past the museum was able to offer rides on the Wickham cars but these rides are no longer available.


Handcars were used by track crews to ride the rails to the work site or for inspections. With room for four men, handcars could reach a top speed of about forty kilometers an hour.

Throughout railway history, track crews used various means to get to the problems on the track. Early in rail history, track crews used handcars and velocipedes, the men would have to manually push and pull their way down the track. Later motorized cars were introduced and used. Speeders were quick and efficient way to transport crews as were Wickham cars. Currently many railway companies use trucks that can run on the rails to transport crews and equipment.

CPR M-260 Cadillac Sedan Limousine

The 1947 Cadillac sedan limousine originally ran as a regular car on the road. It was owned and operated by a Toronto medical doctor. The doctor was a friend of CPR president N.R. “Buck” Crump. The doctor donated the car to Crump for his use. CP sent the car to Montreal where it was converted to run on rail. The car was then assigned to the president or general manager as a convenient and comfortable inspection vehicle. It was operated as a train for safety reasons. It was driven by division superintendents who were qualified operators who could also inform the senior manager about the condition of their division.

The eight-cylinder engine moves the seven tonne car down the track. The Cadillac is identified as M-260. The conversion added a turntable underneath the car so that it can be reversed on the track so it could run in either direction. Air brakes, an air horn, and a bell were added. The steering wheel became part of the air brake system. M-260 has only 52 000 kilometres of service.