For the better part of 8 decades, railroad maintenance crews used railcars like this to inspect and maintain railroad lines. In the 1950's "Hy-Rail" equipment, usually pick up trucks but sometimes passenger automobiles with drop down railroad wheels, began replacing motorcars. By the late 1980's most railroads had completely retired their fleets of motorcars.
Fairmont Railway Motors was founded in Fairmont, Minnesota in 1909 was the largest manufacurer of these railcars. Though the face has changed through mergers the company continues to manufacture Hy-Rail equipment to this day.