by Michael P. Ford
Little is known about Woodings Railcar Limited, however, I have been able to piece together some information.
Woodings Railcar Limited was headquartered and operated out of Lancaster, Ontario, Canada. This is just south of Montreal, Quebec. The company was owned and operated by the Noseworthy Family, with the President being Mr. David Noseworthy.
Woodings Railcar Limited ceased operations in May of 1991. One can speculate that this was due to change from “speeders” to Hy-Rail vehicles used by the railroads today. At that time, the entire inventory of parts and fixtures was sold to Pyke Manufacturing, in Oshawa, Ontario, Canada (just north of Toronto). I have contacted Mr. Noseworthy several times to find out more of the history of Woodings, but he has elected not to reply to my inquiries.
In late 1994, Mr. David Greek in Pennsylvania (a fellow Woodings owner) bought the remaining parts inventory from Pyke Manufacturing, including such things as cab hardware, gears and shafts for the transmission and rear end, axle parts, bearings, gaskets, brake linkage parts, wood blocks for the brake shoes, some clutch and torque converter parts, drive belts, axle insulators, lift handles, maintenance decals, doors, plus more. He did not purchase the jigs and fixtures and their fate is unknown. I have not been able to purchase any parts from Mr. Greek (DAVEGRR@AOL.COM) as he has not cataloged them and is busy with other endeavors.
It is my understanding that only 603 motor cars were made, but I cannot verify this fact. Each one is identified by a “sticker” on the inside of the engine compartment, usually on the passenger side. (Mine had worn off and I could not resurrect the number) Woodings produced 2 models - the CBI which is a shorter cab, and the CBL which is the longer, larger cab. These cars were primarily used on the Canadian Railroads (CP and CN). They had fiberglass bodies and doors, making them a little warmer in the cold Canadian winters, which start earlier and last longer than those in the states. Most of the parts are stock automotive or hardware parts that can be obtained from a variety of existing sources.
For example, I have replaced the original centrifugal clutch and torque converter (which were the Powerbloc brand made by IBC of Quebec) with a Hoffco-Comet system (out of Richmond, Indiana). I had the gas tank fabricated at a local welding shop. I even was able to get 4 brand new door hinges (made by Eberhardt Manufacturing, Cleveland, Ohio) from a distributor in northern Indiana. All of the electrical components, exhaust system components and other similar parts were readily obtainable at the local NAPA, Autozone, or other auto parts stores.
The engine is 16 hp Tecumseh, readily serviced by any Tecumseh dealer. The starter, fuel pumps, carburetors and air cleaner were all easy to come by. The aluminum lift handles and wheels are “Fairmont” brand, but good enough for me.
In short, the Woodings is a fairly simple piece of machinery to overhaul and maintain. While some parts may be unique, if you scout around, use the internet and NARCOA contacts, you can usually find what you are looking for.
If anyone has any additional information on Woodings, please feel free to contact me (email@example.com) and share what you have learned.