RailsNorth.com Home Page Alaska-Yukon Railway Bibliography ExploreNorth.com Home Page Search RailsNorth.com


White Pass & Yukon Route Motorcars

Motor Car No. 2020 at Skagway, 1997 Motor Car 2020
at Skagway, 1997
In August 1998, Motor Cars No. 2009, 2018, 2021 and 2044 were located at Carcross, Yukon, engaged in track upgrading between Bennett and Carcross with GE locomotive #95. Following are miscellaneous notes based on what I've been able to discover about them and the other motor cars. They are commonly referred to as "Caseys" locally.

Units 2018, 2021 and 2044 are Fairmont units, purchased in the 1970s as part of the massive upgrading of the White Pass line at that time. Unit 2021 used to be the Road Master's unit, and is stencilled as such. Unit 2044 was specially ordered for Superintendent Marvin Taylor's use, and is the only one in the White Pass colours of green and yellow.

  • powered by 6-cylinder in-line Ford engines.
  • units 2018 and 2021 have 4-speed transmissions. Unit 2044 has an automatic transmission. All are 4-wheel chain drive.
  • geared for about 50 mph, but the maximum allowable on the line is 30 mph, and even at that speed, emergency stops are impossible according to the operators.
  • a rough side plan graphic is below; bodies are 104 inches long, 63½ inches wide.
  • side windows are all 18 x 24 inches. The bottom of the front and rear side windows on units 2018 and 2021 are 28 inches from the bottom of the body, the bottom of the door window is 27 inches from the bottom of the body. On unit 2044, the bottom of the front and rear side windows are 30 inches from the bottom of the body, the door window is 27 inches.
  • on units 2018 and 2021, the door is 26 inches wide, centred in the body length (39 inches from each end). Unit 2044 has a 27-inch door. The left and right doors open in opposite directions, as hinges on both are on the front side, for safety if a door should come unlatched while the car is in motion.
  • all have 20 x 5/16 x 4½ inch Fairmont wheels, and a 66-inch wheelbase.
  • the bottom of the body is 23½ inches from the top of the rail.
  • from the bottom of the body to the gutter is 57½ inches.
  • the roofs are curved from the gutter, with a 4-inch rise.
  • units were received from Fairmont with the roof and corner posts only; side panels and windows were constructed at the Skagway shop.
  • initially, all units were built with 2 windows (20½ x 26 inches, placed horizontally) front and rear. Several were later reconfigured - 2044 has 1-piece windows front and rear, while 2021 has 3 windows in the front (each 18 x 24 inches, placed vertically) in the front. The change was made to eliminate the bar in the operator's line of sight with the 2-window configuration.

Unit 2009 is a man-car only, with no running-gear.

  • body is 103 x 63½ inches
  • wheels are 16 inch, on a 59¾ inch wheelbase
  • body height to the gutter is 58 inches.
  • the body has a peaked roof, with 4-inch rise

Motor Car No. 2007 at Bennett, 1997 Unit 2007, seen to the right, is derelict at the north end of the Bennett yard. It is equipped with a 4-cylinder flat-head Ford engine.

The Casey house at Carcross is 230 inches wide by 190 inches deep, with vertical board-&-batten siding. The two sliding doors on the track side are 33 inches apart - the left door is 96 inches wide and 100 inches high, while the right door is 88 x 97 inches.

Side Plan of Fairmont Casey No.2021

Click on the thumbnails below to enlarge them.
No. 2007
No. 2018
No. 2019
No. 2020
No. 2021
No. 2044

No. 2055, acquired in 2006, has its own page here.

More Photos of WP&YR Caseys

The North American Railcar Operators Association has 1,200 members, many of whom operate motor cars.

Fairmont - the Company - alive and well, though not building motorcars anymore.

An HO-scale Fairmont-Type Speeder for modelers, by Mark Rollins.