NZR 50-foot carriage

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NZR A class
50-foot carriage
In servicefrom 1908
ManufacturerNew Zealand Railways Department (NZR)
Built atOtahuhu, Auckland
Addington, Christchurch
Constructed1908 - 1935
Line(s) servedvarious
Specifications
Car length50 feet (15.24 m)
Track gauge3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm)

The NZR 50-foot carriage of 1908 were originally constructed for the North Island Main Trunk passenger trains. The first were clad in Kauri, with open end platforms, however those built from 1930 were clad in steel, with enclosed vestibles. These main line cars were used by the NZR. From 1930, similar cars were ordered for South Island services and for North Island provincial services, in particular, for the Rotorua Limited express. All of the North Island cars were 8 ft 11 in (2.72 m) wide and the 20 South Island cars (7 first class seating 30) were 8 ft 5 in (2.57 m) wide. The North Island second class cars seated 42 passengers with four across, but the South Island cars seated 37 passengers with three across.[1] Two observation cars with lounge chairs were trialled on the Rotorua service from 1930, but did not prove successful and were converted into ordinary carriages.[2][3]

In 1934 orders for placed for cars for main line use in both islands, with the body width at the waist increased. They were 50 ft 0 in (15.24 m) long, and 11 ft 4 in (3.45 m) high. The width was 8 ft 5 12 in (2.58 m) at the waist reducing to 8 ft 4 34 in (2.56 m) at about window height. The cars had an enclosed vestibule at each end; and were divided in two by a central lavatory compartment, with a W.C. on one side and a "Lav" (handbasin) on the other side. Seating was three per row, with first class passengers in single reclining chair seats, two seats on one side and one on the other side of the aisle (except that there were double seats at either end of the compartment). In Second Class the initial Longitudional seats were replaced by "Addington" chairs and then "Scarrett" seats, a single seat on one side of the aisle and a double seat on the other side.[4] The seating for passengers was:

  • First class: 18 passengers and 15 passengers (total 33) in two compartments
  • Second class: 21 passengers and 18 passengers (total 39) in two compartments.
  • Composite: 13 first class and 21 second class passengers (total 34) in two compartments. [5]
NZR JA class steam loco hauling two NZR 56-foot carriages followed by several NZR 50-foot carriages on an excursion train

The carriages were built at the Addington and Otahuhu Workshops. Later two first class cars were reseated as 37-seat second class cars. Some were altered to car-vans. In 1963-65 some were fitted with multiple-unit type seats for 63 passengers and used for suburban service; initially 7 and later another 10, total 17.[6] By 1974 some were used on the Rewanui Branch for miners’ trains. [7] The Taieri Gorge Railway used to have four of the 50-foot carriages, but has been replacing them with 56-foot carriages.

Earlier NZR 50 foot carriages[edit]

The Wellington and Manawatu Railway Company acquired 50 ft passenger cars Class A2 from 1903 to 1906, 5 First Class and 13 Second Class. The first six were from Jackson & Sharp of Delaware, USA (later the Gilbert Car Co) and later cars were built at the WMR Thorndon Workshops. [8]

These cars were higher the NZR loading gauge (12' 2½" (3.72m) rather than 11' 6" (3.51m)) and were required to be tested before running on Government lines; however in 1911 A 1127 lost ventilators going through a goods shed. In 1940 a ventilator on A 1106 touched the electric overhead in tunnel 10 on the Kapiti Line and caught fire, after which ex-WMR cars were restricted to the Hutt Line.[9]

Preserved examples[edit]

Road
number
Location Notes
A 1120 Silver Stream Railway Ex Wellington and Manawatu Railway Company
A 1126 Silver Stream Railway Ex Wellington and Manawatu Railway Company
A 1130 Silver Stream Railway Ex Wellington and Manawatu Railway Company
AA 1013 Mainline Steam Used on 1908 "Ministerial Special" and on centenary commemoration train. Mainline certified.
AA 1017 Body on Waiheke Island, Frame at MOTAT Used on "Ministerial Special", 1908.
AA 1024 The Plains Vintage Railway & Historical Museum
AA 1025 Forest Lakes Camp, Otaki In use as accommodation.
AA 1030 Steam Incorporated Mainline certified excursion carriage.
AA 1060 Rimutaka Incline Railway Heritage Trust Stored
AA 1068 Museum of Transport and Technology Formerly used at McDonald's, Paraparaumu. Display at MOTAT.
AA 1071 Steam Incorporated Mainline certified excursion carriage.
AA 1073 Steam Incorporated Mainline certified excursion carriage.
AA 1132 Kingston Flyer Preserved as refreshments carriage.
AA 1134 Glenbrook Vintage Railway Mainline certified excursion carriage.
AA 1135 Unknown Formerly preserved at now-defunct Tauranga Historic Village museum.
AA 1136 Museum of Transport and Technology Stored
AA 1233 Glenbrook Vintage Railway Mainline certified excursion carriage.
AA 1235 Silver Stream Railway In service
AA 1237 Paraparaumu Private residence
AA 1258 Glenbrook Vintage Railway Mainline certified excursion carriage.
AA 1265 Steam Incorporated Mainline certified excursion carriage.
AA 1267 Steam Incorporated Mainline certified excursion carriage.
AA 1480 Museum of Transport and Technology
AA 1484 The Carriage Restaurant, Oakura Ex Goldfields Railway, Waihi
AA 1489 Mainline Steam
AA 1494 Glenbrook Vintage Railway Mainline certified excursion carriage.
AA 1601 Silver Stream Railway In service
AA 1656 Bay of Islands Vintage Railway
AA 1669 Mainline Steam Stored
AA 1670 Forest Lakes Camp, Otaki In use as accommodation.
AA 1678 Goldfields Railway
A 1702 Taumarunui Restaurant. Steel clad
A 1707 Downer EDI, Oamaru Stored. Steel clad
A 1720 Dunedin Railways Mainline certified carriage. Steel clad
A 1729 Dunedin Railways Mainline certified carriage. Steel clad
A 1730 Weka Pass Railway In service. Steel clad
A 1731 Weka Pass Railway In service. Steel clad
A 1732 Weka Pass Railway Stored. Steel clad
A 1733 Weka Pass Railway In service. Steel clad

References[edit]

  1. ^ Passenger Rolling Stock Development in New Zealand by C.L.S. Green in The New Zealand Railway Observer, October 1945 p72
  2. ^ Churchman & Hurst 2001, p. 118.
  3. ^ Lee 2003, p. 31.
  4. ^ Passenger Rolling Stock Development in New Zealand by C.L.S. Green in The New Zealand Railway Observer October 1945 p71
  5. ^ Lee 2003, p. 33-36.
  6. ^ The New Zealand Railway Observer: Vol 21 No 111 p75 & Vol 22 No 106 p133
  7. ^ Lee 2003, pp. 34,35.
  8. ^ Cassells 1994, pp. 170,174,175.
  9. ^ New Zealand Railfan, March 2017 page 64: "The Passenger Cars of the WMR" by John Agnew

Further reading[edit]

  • Lee, Fred (2003). New Zealand Railways Passenger Rolling Stock Plan Book, Volume One. Wellington: New Zealand Railway and Locomotive Society. ISBN 978-0-908573-80-6.
  • Churchman, Geoffrey B; Hurst, Tony (2001) [1990, 1991]. The Railways of New Zealand: A Journey through History (Second ed.). Transpress New Zealand. ISBN 0-908876-20-3.
  • Bill Pierre (1981). North Island Main Trunk: An Illustrated History. A.H. & A.W. Reed. ISBN 0-589-01316-5.
  • Cassells, KR (Ken) (1994). Uncommon Carrier - The History of the Wellington & Manawatu Railway Company, 1882-1908. New Zealand Railway and Locomotive Society. ISBN 0908573634.