V type carriage

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AV type carriage
Manufacturer Victorian Railways
Family name V-series
Constructed 1897–1899
Operator Victorian Railways
Car length 50 ft 2 in (15.29 m)
Track gauge 5 ft 3 in (1,600 mm)
BV type carriage
Manufacturer Victorian Railways
Family name V-series
Constructed 1898–1899
Operator Victorian Railways
Track gauge 5 ft 3 in (1,600 mm)
DV (later CV) guards van
Manufacturer Victorian Railways
Family name V-series
Constructed 1898 & 1906
Number built 2+5
Track gauge 5 ft 3 in (1,600 mm)

The V type carriages were a series of wooden passenger carriages used on the railways of Victoria, Australia. They consisted of the first class AV, second class BV and a guards van DV, later reclassed CV.

Despite some records, these classes were never "doubled" to reflect their bogies; for example, the class AVAV never existed.



In the closing years of the 19th century, the VR found itself in need of more passenger carriages.

In 1897 the design was settled upon and carriage AV285 was brought into use. The number 285 was a follow-on from the AA class of carriages; the last of these was numbered 284. The "V" indicated a vestibule (walkthrough interconnection to the next carriage).

The new carriage was 50 feet, 2 inches long and internally was laid out similar to the later E, S and W cars with a side corridor and compartments. It was the first passenger carriage to feature toilets, which were becoming more and more important with longer travelling being made possible.

With the trial a success, construction continued with AV's 286 and 287; but all three cars were renumbered to the AV1-3 series prior to service. By 1898 cars AV1-7 were all in revenue service; these were joined by AV8-35 by the end of 1899.

Some of the carriages were used as Joint Stock for running between Melbourne and Adelaide, and entered this service directly from the production line. They were painted as the OA class, but this was never officially recorded. OAs 31, 32, 34 and 35 were AV 31, 26, 5 and 11 in that order. The cars returned to their AV designations about 1907, but maintained their alternative designs with only four doors per side instead of the normal six (doors two and five were deleted, and the space replaced with wider windows). Cars AV 21 and 23 also had some role in Joint Stock services, but it is not known whether they were ever recoded.

The carriages were kept in service until the early 1960s, being withdrawn and scrapped between 1962 and 1970.

A handful of cars were however retained, some converted to the Display Train (see below) and some for heritage operations.


In parallel with the production of the AV class, second class vehicles were also constructed. The same dimensions and general layout were used, with construction lasting through 1898 and 1899. A total of 25 vehicles were built, numbered from BV1 to BV25.

Again, joint stock vehicles were drawn from the class. OBs 33 and 36 were converted from BV's 23 and 6 respectively - however they were never officially recorded as the OB class.

CV, DV[edit]

Usually when the Victorian Railways developed a new type of passenger car, they also produced a matching guards van. The V series was no different, producing DV1 and DV2 in 1898.

These vans were fitted with guards compartments at each end, with a large baggage area in the centre. Vans 1 and 2 were fitted with small side areas known as "duckets" - these were to be used by the guard to peer along the side of the train through narrow windows. This was in lieu of the more regular raised observation compartments, and as such CV's 1 and 2 were unique for their era in having flat roofs.

In 1906 the class was increased with DV3 through DV7 brought into service. None of these vans had duckets, instead returning to the norm of raised observation areas.

In the 1910 recoding the DV class was recoded to CV, but the numbers were unchanged. The class outlasted the AV and BV passenger carriages by about two decades, with all vans still in service in 1980. Over time the class had their timber sides replaced with steel sheeting, but otherwise they remained in as-built condition for most of their lives.

CV5 now runs on the Mornington Tourist Railway, albeit with a silver stripe along the sides much like their other rollingstock.

The Display Train[edit]

As new carriages were introduced in the mid-1960s, it was found that the V-series passenger cars were becoming surplus. Rather than scrapping the fleet, in 1966 cars AV 22, 4, 6 and 29 lost the AV classification and became cars 1-4. in 1968 these were joined by BV's 9 and 21, these being renumbered simply "5" and "6". In 1975 guards van CV2 was modified to become a power generator for the set, but it was not externally altered.

The carriage interiors were obliterated and replaced with advertising material; the outsides were sheathed in aluminium cladding, essentially creating a set of billboards on wheels. However the original carriages were more-or-less retained under the shell; photos exist of some of the carriages with the shell half-removed [1], revealing the passenger car's original exterior in worse-than-average condition.

Of course the train was not in use every day, and for most of its life it was stored in Newport Workshops, with tours about every two years. By the late 1980s it was obvious the idea was a mistake; all the cars were scrapped or sold.


The AV and BV carriages were well worn out by the mid 1960s, and in need of replacement. With Standard Gauge works progressing and new steel carriages being introduced on a constant basis, the decision was made to scrap or sell carriages that were no longer roadworthy. At least 50 carriages from the three classes were destroyed, including the vehicles of the Display Train; their metal content ensured sales to a metal reclaiming company in Coburg.


Like much of the Victorian Railways rollingstock, many carriages were reduced to shrapnel and/or burnt. Of those that remained, many were sold off, and those that survive now form houses or sheds in various paddocks and other locations around the state. About eight cars were retained for heritage purposes, but none of these are in running condition as of 2009.

Model Railways[edit]

Blue and Gold Models will be producing an HO scale resin kit of the V-series passenger carriages. However it remains to be seen whether or not this will include the CV vans.

It would likely be far easier to scratchbuild a display train, rather than converting a V kit.

Veteran Models has released AV, BV & CV brass and whitemeatal kits in 0 Scale (1:48).