Victorian Railways S type carriage
|S type carriage|
A train of restored S type carriages in the original Victorian Railways livery
Interior of a BS car compartment
|Built at||Newport Railway Workshops|
|Family name||S type carriage|
|Replaced||E type carriage|
|Entered service||1937-2010 (1990's to current with heritage operators)|
|Scrapped||1972 (7AS); 1984 (2VHN ex 1DS/2CS)|
|Operator(s)||Victorian Railways, V/Line, West Coast Railway|
|Car body construction||71 ft 6 in (21.79 m) for passenger cars;
59 feet 8 inches (18.19 m)
72 feet 1 1⁄4 inches (21.98 m)
for State Car No.5
|Car length||74 ft 8 in (22.76 m) for passenger cars;
56 feet 10 inches (17.32 m)
|Width||9 ft 9 in (2.97 m) (all);
10 ft 1 11⁄16 in (3.09 m) over handrails (broad gauge);
10 ft 5⁄8 in (3.06 m) over handrails (standard gauge);
10 ft 2 in (3.10 m) over tail-lights (Norman)
|Height||13 ft 6 11⁄16 in (4.13 m) for all except four Buffet cars;
13 ft 2 13⁄16 in (4.03 m) for buffet cars
|Articulated sections||Rubber corridor connectors|
|Wheel diameter||3 ft 0 in (0.91 m)|
|Wheelbase||8 ft 0 in (2.44 m)|
|Maximum speed||70 mph (113 km/h)|
|Power supply||Head end power, previously axle driven generator|
|Bogies||53 ft (16.15 m) centres, all except vans
38 ft (11.58 m) centres for vans
|Braking system(s)||Westinghouse Air Brake|
|Coupling system||Automatic Couplers|
|Headlight type||Incandescent, later fluorescent|
|Track gauge||5 ft 3 in (1,600 mm),
has operated on 4 ft 8 1⁄2 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
The S type carriages are a compartment layout passenger carriage used on the railways of Victoria, Australia. The carriages were constructed by the Victorian Railways in 1937 for use on the Spirit of Progress, with additional carriages built until the 1950s for other trains.
Introduced by Victorian Railways Chief Commissioner Harold Clapp for the Spirit of Progress service between Melbourne and Albury, the carriages lasted through many decades of regular service across a number of operators. Most of the fleet are still in service today, though none are in regular passenger service.
Two major types of carriage were constructed - AS first class cars with 3+3 seating in each compartment, BS second class cars with 4+4 seating. A number of conversions were made in later years, with the addition of beds to some to produce the sleeping cars and buffet modules to others to provide on board catering facilities. The BRS cars were the most recent conversion made as part of the New Deal reforms of the early 1980s.
The cars saw little use by the early 1990s with the introduction of the Sprinter railcars, and most were sold. A number were sold to West Coast Railway with others going to preservation groups such as Steamrail Victoria, 707 Operations, Seymour Railway Heritage Centre and others. After the demise of WCR most of their cars passed to preservation groups such as Steamrail Victoria, and 707 Operations. Five cars were retained by V/Line along with the specila cars.
Five BS cars that were owned by V/Line were retired in July 2006, almost 69 years after their introduction. However owing to a boom in patronage (and the Kerang rail accident) they were re-introduced to service to replace set N7 as a dedicated train set on the Geelong line from late September 2007. This set was withdrawn from service on 9 August 2010, running the 7:47am service from South Geelong to Southern Cross.
All special cars were passed to preservation groups by 2007 with the five remaining stored cars being sold to preservation groups in August 2017.
- 1 Development and design
- 2 Construction
- 3 Operations
- 4 New dining cars, construction method experimentation
- 5 Introduction of the S carriage class
- 6 Operations through World War 2
- 7 1945 to 1952
- 8 1953 to 1962 - New carriages 7BS - 14BS, The Overland and The Intercapital Daylight
- 9 Standard Gauge Classes, 1962-on
- 10 Broad Gauge in the 1960s & 1970s
- 11 VicRail period (1976-1983)
- 12 New Deal (1983-1993)
- 13 1990s
- 14 21st century
- 15 Fleet Details
- 16 Model railways
- 17 References
- 18 External links
Development and design
|Number scrapped||1 (7AS in 1972)|
|Fleet numbers||No's 1-9; 1-16AS & 206, 210AS; 1-15BS; & BS201-219; 1-3ABS; 1-4VFS & VFS214; 1-2VFX & 216-217VFX|
|Capacity||48 1st class passengers (AS)
64 2nd class passengers (BS, VFS)
24 1st & 32 2nd class passengers (ABS)
48 2nd class passengers plus two crew compartments (VFX)
|Doors||inside-swinging, four corners|
48 LT 15 cwt 0 qtr (49.53 t) (AS with diaphragm plates)
12 LT 3 cwt 3 qtr (12.38 t) (AS with diaphragm plates)
|Fleet numbers||1VAC / Sleeper No.15 / SS285 & 2VAC / Sleeper No.16 / SS286|
|Doors||inside-swinging, four corners|
|Weight||52 LT 8 cwt 0 qtr (53.24 t)|
|Axle load||13 LT 2 cwt 0 qtr (13.31 t)|
|Partial Buffet Cars|
|Number built||13 shells|
|Design code||MBS, MRS & BRS (broad gauge); VFR (standard gauge)|
|Fleet numbers||Tanjil (Buffet Car No.4); Moorabool (Buffet Car No.5); 1 & 2 VFR; VFR215; 1-3MBS; 1-2MRS; 1-3 & 8-10BRS; BRS221-230|
|Capacity||12 1st class passengers & 19 diners (Buffet Cars 4 & 5); 56 2nd class passengers (VFR); 40 2nd class passengers & 12 diners (MBS); 24 2nd class passengers & 12 diners (MRS); 48 2nd class passengers (BRS)|
49 LT 10 cwt 4 qtr (50.35 t) (Buffet Cars 4 & 5)
12 LT 7 cwt 3 qtr (12.59 t) (Buffet Cars 4 & 5)
|Full Buffet Cars|
|Fleet numbers||Wimmera (Buffet Car No.3), Mitta Mitta (Buffet Car No.2), 1-3VRS, VRS231-233, RS234|
|Capacity||27 eating passengers (Buffet Car No.2 / Wimmera / 2VRS / VRS232 & Buffet Car No.3 & Mitta Mitta / 1VRS / VRS231); 28 eating passengers (3VRS / 233VRS); open room with portable furniture (Moorabool / RS234)|
|Weight||51 LT 12 cwt 0 qtr (52.43 t)|
|Axle load||12 LT 18 cwt 0 qtr (13.11 t)|
|Fleet numbers||Dining Car / Murray / RS236|
|Capacity||48 dining passengers|
|Weight||52 LT 14 cwt 0 qtr (53.55 t)|
|Axle load||13 LT 3 cwt 2 qtr (13.39 t)|
|Parlor Car / Norman|
|Fleet numbers||Parlor Car / Lounge Car / Club Car / Norman / OS237|
|Capacity||33 as Parlor Car and Lounge Car, later 38 as Club Car38 passengers (Parlor, Lounge, Club formats); 25 (Norman / OS237 format)|
|Weight||52 LT 0 cwt 0 qtr (52.83 t), later 52 LT 15 cwt 0 qtr (53.60 t) as Norman|
|Axle load||13 LT 0 cwt 0 qtr (13.21 t), later 13 LT 3 cwt 3 qtr (13.40 t) as Norman|
|Design code||Steel CE / CS; Steel Bulk Mail / DS; VHN; P.T.C. Test Car|
|Fleet numbers||1CS / 1VHN / VHN241 / CS241 & 1DS / 2CS / 2VHN|
|Capacity||20 long tons (20.32 t) (CS & VHN);
25 long tons (25.40 t) (DS)
|Doors||4 per side (CS & VHN);
3 per side (DS)
|Weight||38 LT 14 cwt 0 qtr (39.32 t) (CS, unloaded)|
|Axle load||9 LT 13 cwt 2 qtr (9.83 t) (CS, unloaded)|
|State Car No.5|
|Design code||State Car|
|Weight||52 LT 12 cwt 0 qtr (53.44 t)|
|Axle load||13 LT 3 cwt 0 qtr (13.36 t)|
|Fleet numbers||BRS228 / Mitta Mitta|
|Capacity||6 beds, 8 seats & four dining chairs|
|Doors||inside-swinging, four corners|
|Weight||44 LT 0 cwt 0 qtr (44.71 t)|
|Axle load||11 LT 0 cwt 0 qtr (11.18 t)|
When the Spirit of Progress concept was being developed as a replacement for the Sydney Limited, it was made known that Harold Clapp wanted the train to be a rival to the greatest trains in the world - modern, smooth, streamlined and with an air of efficiency. To achieve this, it was decided that a new all-steel train would be constructed from scratch, using the most recent developments in rollingstock design and the most exquisite creature comforts.
The Victorian Railways Chairman of Commissioners, Harold Clapp, had visited the United States in 1934-35, to learn about the latest developments in the field. Included were visits to the American Car and Foundry, Missouri, as well as a sampling of the services provided by the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad's trains, the Royal Blue and Abraham Lincoln. Both of these trains were of metal construction, the former with CorTen steel (developed by the United States Steel Corporation) and the latter with aluminium. Both trains were hauled by steam locomotives at the time of the visit, and both were of much smaller dimensions than those normally provided on American trains.
Based on the findings of his visit, Clapp insisted that the new train would have the best possible insulation, both sound and vibrations from track; air-conditioning, and yet to be of similar weight and capacity of the then-standard E carriage fleet. Indeed, advertising at the time declared that the materials selected "reduced train noises to an almost imperceptible minimum".
After testing, the design of the Royal Blue, with riveted CorTen steel, was selected as the basis for the new carriages and train. With the new design, it was found that a Spirit of Progress carriage of identical capacity was 6 1⁄2 long tons (6.6 t; 7.3 short tons) lighter than an air-conditioned E type carriage. However, the new carriages retained the compartment layout already in use in the AE and BE carriages.
Twelve carriages were ordered for construction at Newport Workshops; five first-class carriages, numbered 1-5; four second-class carriages, 6-9; the guard's van, the dining car and the parlor car. The latter was always spelled in the American way, without the "u". Each of the sitting cars were 71 ft 6 in (21.79 m) long over body with a further 1 ft 9 in (533 mm) at either end being occupied by the interconnecting diaphragm, for a total length of 75 feet (22.86 m). These diaphragms could compress by up to two inches (51 mm) each. The guards' van was 60 ft (18.29 m) over diaphragms, 58 ft 8 in (17.88 m) when coupled at both ends.
Each passenger carriage featured eight compartments, with the only differences being the number of seats per compartment - six, wider seats for first class, or eight, slightly narrower seats, for second class. Each seat had its own reading lamp and at least one folding armrest, which could be raised to be flush with the rest of the seat if preferred. Soft, diffused lighting was provided, hidden inside the walls and aimed at the ceiling to avoid blinding the passengers. Each compartment was fitted with a large, double-pane, single window, claimed at the time to be "unshatterable". At the time these windows were the first the railways had used, which could not be opened; instead they were sealed to ensure the efficiency of the air conditioning system. This glass was also used in all doors, whether for the compartment or along the hallway, separating various portions.
Three of the eight compartments, at the No.1 end of the carriage, were designated for smoking passengers - although all compartments were fitted with ashtrays.
All onboard systems were powered by axle-mounted generators, with a large underslung battery available for use when the train was not moving. Additionally, carriages could be connected individually to an external power supply, if something suitable was available and the train was to be stationary for a long time.
Extensive testing was carried out to ensure maximum comfort with the type of seat selected. The final seat design was sprung, and padded with horsehair manually inserted to give the right contour. Then the seats were upholstered with leather, designed, cut and fitted to each seat before installation in the carriage. When installed, seats were a little over 2 ft 6 in (0.76 m) deep. Each passenger compartment also included roller blinds over the windows, and an individual radiator fitted to the outer wall and protected with a steel grille. On the opposite side, each compartment door was fitted with a hand-crafted louvre for air flow purposes.
Rubber linoleum was used as the floor covering, directly over the steel carriage underframe. This covered the entire floor surface, and met a rubber curbing along the sides of the hallways, placed over the wall coverings to protect from foot marks. Otherwise, the walls were sheeted with a veneer of selected Australian timbers; different timbers were used in the first and second class carriages, to match the colours of the seats. Toilets in each carriage had Terrazzo flooring applied, finely ground, then polished.
A different type of chair was custom-designed for use in the Parlor and Dining cars, each one handcrafted "with due regard to comfort and durability". The dining car was also fitted with an on-board kitchen section, again designed and built to the highest standards possible at the time. The stove, for example, was insulated with rock-wool, noted for high levels of insulation resulting in an appreciable level of fuel economy. Venetian blinds were used exclusively in the rounded end of the Parlor car.
The guards van was designed somewhat differently from previous types, which had had a guards' compartment at either end of the carriage with a cupola, and a mail/baggage section in the middle of the van. The steel CE Van instead had, from the "front" end, a single luggage compartment, then a single guards compartment, then two further luggage compartments. Both ends of the van were fitted with walk-through, full-width, collapsible diaphragms. The central guards compartment was fitted with periscopes aimed in each direction, allowing the guard to observe signals and perform other duties as required. The three luggage sections could between them take around 20 long tons (20 t; 22 short tons) of luggage. Van-side doors were each fitted with three windows initially, and the door sliding mechanisms were designed to allow the doors to run flush with the shell of the carriage when closed. Additionally, a dog-box was provided in each corner of the van, accessible only from the outside.
To give the proper feel of a streamlined train, the S class locomotives would be fitted with a steel sheeting matching the train; diaphragms on the ends of the locomotive tenders and all the passenger carriages were full-width instead of inset, and painted to match the rest of the train, and van doors were designed to run flush to the sides of the carriages. All this was done both to reduce air resistance at the train's maximum official speed of 115 km/h (71 mph), and to give the impression of one long, solid unit. However, the wider design of diaphragm meant that any locomotive with full buffers could not be coupled to, or used to shunt, these carriages, as the buffers would pierce or otherwise damage the vestibule fittings. As a result, a number of D4 locomotives were fitted with half-buffers to avoid this problem.
All carriages were built at Newport Railway Workshops, using CorTen steel.
After completion the carriages were spray-painted with two coats of Dulux Royal Blue, product number 041. Over this, two parallel lines of gold leaf were manually applied; a two-inch-thick (51 mm) line above the window line, and a three-inch-thick (76 mm) line below the window line. These stripes extended the full length of the train, from the streamlined sides of the S Class locomotives, along the tender sides, across all of the diaphragms and carriage sides, then around the rounded end of the Parlor car and back around to the other side of the locomotive. The majority of this gold leaf had to be applied over rivets, making for a difficult application process. The same gold leaf was also used for the class lettering visible to passengers, such as "First", "Second", "Dining Car" and "Parlor Car".
Original Spirit of Progress fleet, riveted sides
Late 1937 saw all of the original order of twelve carriages delivered, bar one of the first-class sitting cars, No.4. The other eight sitting cars entered service on 14 November 1937; the Dining and Parlor cars on the 17th, and the steel CE van on the 18th.
This gave the maximum-length 11-car train for the debut of the Spirit of Progress at 6:30pm, 23 November 1937. Before this date the train ran a number of demonstration runs to Geelong, Ballarat and Bendigo on the 18th, 19th and 22nd respectively, being displayed at those locations from lunchtime to around 9pm before running back to Melbourne. The train was also displayed at Platform 7 at Spencer Street, from 9am to 9pm on Saturday 20 November. The first run, hauled by locomotive S302 "Edward Henty", included from the Albury end, the steel CE van, cars 6-9, the Dining Car, cars 1-3 and 5, and the Parlor Car. (The order of passenger cars either side of the dining car is not known.)
As at the time the code for the new carriages had not yet been decided, the passenger cars were released to service unclassed and simply numbered 1 through 9 without a class. Some official correspondence refers to the carriages as "Steel E type carriage" – for example, "Steel AE 1" when referring to the first of the passenger cars. The Dining and Parlor cars apparently began life with those identities, and the guards van was known as the Steel CE Van.
April 1938 saw a further two steel cars delivered; the missing first class carriage, Number 4, on the 4th, and a new addition to the fleet, Steel Bulk Mail, on the 5th. The former was identical to cars 1-3 and 5, and is believed to suffered fire damage during construction delaying its entering service. The latter was similar to the Steel CE van but without the guards compartment, and the end diaphragms, while present, were blanked off and as such could not be used for walking through. As a result, the van compartments were of varying lengths and the doors were not evenly spaced. A result of this was the ability to take a further five tons of goods.
With the completion of the Steel Bulk Mail van, one second-class carriage was deleted from the standard Spirit of Progress consist, to give eleven cars with four first-class and three second-class. This left one of each class spare, for a rotating maintenance schedule. If one of the other cars was unavailable, Murray could be replaced with the Long W type carriage Avoca; Steel Bulk Mail could be replaced with 1D, a 1929-build steel replacement for a destroyed E-type mail van, and the Steel CE could be replaced with a normal, timber CE. There was no replacement for the Parlor car; if this was faulty it would have to be removed from the train.
New dining cars, construction method experimentation
Shortly after Clapp's visit to America, the rollingstock branch used the new lessons to produce a design for an altered E type carriage with an internal buffet. The new car, Buffet Car No.1 and later named Taggerty, was introduced to the Bendigo line on 5 April 1937, then used daily except Sundays.
From the experience gained with Taggerty, four all-steel S type buffet cars were constructed, using a similar body shell to that of the previous builds. Two buffet cars were constructed initially, Number 2, released to service on 19 December 1938, and Number 3, released to service on 14 Feb 1939. Both these cars were fitted with a kitchen area and a full-length buffet, with no regular passenger seating or compartments. A few months later, cars 5 (1 June 1939) and 4 (31 July 1939) were released to service. These later cars were classified as compartment buffets having two standard compartments at one end and a shorter buffet counter. All cars were later named; respectively, Wimmera, Mitta Mitta, Tanjil and Moorabool. All four cars, when built, were painted in a deep red intended as a rough approximation of the red scheme then in use on the timber passenger fleet; this red extended over the roof. Additionally, a pair of silver stripes, 2 in (51 mm) above the window line and 3 in (76 mm) below the window line, were added. The silver colour was also used when applying the Art Deco style carriage names and Buffet Car lettering; the former about halfway between the 3-inch line and the underframe of the car, and the latter immediately above the 2-inch line. All lettering was located centrally on the car. Window frames were painted silver. Wimmera and Mitta Mitta had full-length buffets with 27 seats, while Tanjil and Moorabool had only 19 seats along a shorter buffet, plus two first-class compartments. The kitchen of each car included an Esse Fuel Stove, similar in design to that included in the Spirit of Progress's Dining Car. In all cases the kitchen area was located at one end of the car, rather than being placed centrally like in Taggerty.
Each carriage was under the charge of an all-female staff of a supervisor, three to five waitresses, a cook and an assistant. The buffet stocked cigarettes, tobacco and confectionery, in addition to light meals and refreshments.
Wimmera and Mitta Mitta weighed 51 long tons (52 t; 57 short tons) each, while Tanjil and Moorabool came in at just over 50 long tons (51 t; 56 short tons). Wimmera was fitted with indirect, central-trough lighting, while the other three were fitted with semi-recessed circular light units recessed into the ceiling.
While Tanjil and Moorabool were new names, the other two were recycled from previous rollingstock. The name Mitta Mitta had previously been applied to a special-purpose car, built in 1910 using the bodies of two Ministerial vehicles dating back to 1880; the car was renamed Edinburgh in 1889, then Mitta Mitta in December 1910. In July 1924 the car was rebuilt as a Medical Test and Vision car, used with a traveling doctor to ensure that all Victorian Railways staff were healthy enough to safely work. The car was pulled from service and demolished in May 1939. In its place, E type carriage Wimmera was removed from passenger service, refitted and renamed as the new Medical Test and Vision car from October 1938. This vehicle may have been selected once Taggerty was deemed an appropriate replacement. So the selection of names "Wimmera" and "Mitta Mitta" could be deemed appropriate, given their association with each other.
Changes to design
The full buffet cars did not feature side doors for passengers whilst the compartment buffets had doors on each side at the compartment end in the same style as all other sitting cars. A single side door was provided for accessing the staff and kitchen area. Other changes included a thin aluminium plate over the ends of the full-width diaphragms, to hide the open-end framework.
While Wimmera, Mitta Mitta and Moorabool used the same construction method as the first Spirit of Progress carriages, research by Peter Clark has indicated that Tanjil was constructed differently. This car was used as a test-bed for all-welded construction methods, which Clapp had seen on the Milwaukee Road, in 1934 during his trip to America. This gives Tanjil a smooth finish on the sides, rather than the riveted sides of all earlier carriages.
At this time, the Spirit of Progress was still operating as a maximum 11-car train, leaving one first class and one second class carriage spare. Often, the Steel Bulk Mail van was not used account lack of necessity. Wimmera and Mitta Mitta were attached to The Overland in place of Goulburn, Campaspe, Avoca and Hopkins; Tanjil and Moorabool were rostered on daily (except Sunday) runs to Warrnambool and Horsham, but the cars had to be removed from service account wartime restrictions. The two were stored in Newport Workshops, along with planned E type carriage conversions 21AE and 26AE, which were planned to be converted to further buffet cars with a similar layout to Taggerty.
Introduction of the S carriage class
By mid 1939 it was becoming clear that referring to the new steel carriages as "Steel (timber class)" was becoming unworkable. As a result, the more sensible S type carriage group was created and on 30 August 1939 the cars were officially re-classed; cars 1 through 5 became 1AS through 5AS; cars 6 through 9 became 1BS through 4BS, and the Steel CE and Steel Bulk Mail vans became 1CS and 1DS respectively (note DS had previously been used by an E-Type mail sorting van). The Dining Car and Parlor Car retained those identities, while the four buffet cars were known alternately by their names or as Buffet Car No.X.
First all-welded passenger cars
Following the success of the construction of Tanjil, six further passenger cars were ordered from Newport Workshops. 1940 saw delivered three new AS carriages, 6, 7 and 8, and three new BS carriages, 5, 6 and 7. These six cars were painted in the same livery as the buffet cars; red with silver lines and text. As the cars were under construction at the outbreak of World War II, they could not be finished to the same high standard as the previous builds. The internal timber linings were disposed of, and instead the surfaces were painted a pastel grey shade, later changed to cream. This proved to be a much less durable covering in service.
Operations through World War 2
The six new red carriages were used on the Albury Express, replacing E type carriages which had been fitted with airconditioning. This train was effectively a second-division run of the Spirit of Progress, further proven by the locomotive roster for this train also being an S class locomotive. (Note that the locomotives were all painted in blue with gold leaf by 1938, and the two red locomotives were the first repainted to that scheme, in 1937. So there was never any plan to have red S Class locomotives on the front of an all-steel, red Albury Express.)
AE and BE airconditioned carriages removed from the Albury Express were then moved to other services, like the Bendigo midday.
1945 to 1952
New carriages, 9AS-16AS & State Car 5
As part of the war recovery, more S type carriages were built. Starting from 1948 further AS cars were constructed, with 9AS and 10AS released to service on 2 December 1948; 11AS on the 22nd and 12AS on 29 March 1949, and 13AS on 20 May that year. 14AS entered service a year later, on 9 May 1950, while 15AS and 16AS were added on 4 and 12 December 1952. All of these carriages were released to service in the same livery as the previous red cars, with silver lines. The only noticeable change is the picking-out of some large underframe equipment in silver.
However, the design of the carriages was not quite identical to 6 through 8AS, with some modifications from the original design not applied. For instance, the end diaphragm units did not have the flat aluminium ends applied, and the carriages were all fitted with varnished timber wall linings. A new change was the division of the toilet compartments at each end of the carriage into two smaller areas, thus separating the toilet from the sink. The carriage bodies were mostly welded, although some cars were built with a line of rivets along the bottom of the carriage body.
In 1951 State Car 5 was built, in preparation for an upcoming Royal Tour and as the previous State Car, Number 4, had been built in 1912 and was beginning to look dated. The new car was initially painted in the same dark red as the other cars but without any sort of lining, instead having the Royal Coat of Arms placed on the centre of the carriage sides. This was applied using transfers obtained from the Canadian Pacific Railway. By the 1954 Royal tour, the car had been painted into VR Blue and Gold with a new application of the royal insignia in the middle of each side. This insignia was covered by sheet-metal when not used by members of royalty or their representatives in Australia.
From 1945 Wimmera and Mitta Mitta ran alternate journeys as part of the Albury Express. Tanjil was stored at the Spencer Street dining car depot as a spare vehicle, and Moorabool was rostered on the Gippslander from 1952. The new sitting carriages, when not being used on the Albury Express or taking over a spot on the Spirit of Progress, would have spread to other routes.
Repaints and changing schemes
Moorabool, and probably the other buffet cars, were repainted for the first time since their construction in 1950. No changes were made to the livery at this time, but the paint had faded quite drastically over the intervening decade. A second repaint occurred in 1953. However, by this time the railways had stopped using gold-leaf on the blue carriages, instead switching to yellow transfers for lining and lettering. These were applied to at least some of the red carriages in lieu of painted silver lines and the different base resulted in cream-coloured lines and lettering. 5BS and 6BS were repainted to blue with gold leaf to serve as spares for the Spirit of Progress, although it is not known when this occurred.
1953 to 1962 - New carriages 7BS - 14BS, The Overland and The Intercapital Daylight
The Overland (ABS)
In early 1953, the South Australian Railways withdrew their 750-class excursion carriages from The Overland, as these, while of steel construction, were not airconditioned. The carriages had provided 22 first and 24 second-class seats, and a replacement had to be found. The Victorian Railways found that they could spare two AS carriages, and so in autumn of that year cars 12AS and 13AS were converted to 1ABS and 2ABS respectively. Each car was unaltered at the first class end, but had second-class seats installed in the other half, for a total of 24 first- and 32 second-class passengers. Two compartments of each class, or half of the total seats, were reserved for smokers; and intermediate doors were installed in the hallway to separate these sections. Both carriages were painted with deep red and thick silver stripes to match the then-new Overland O and J type carriages, but the black roof was not applied to the S cars. Window frames were red on the vertical and silver on the horizontal, to match the silver stripes. Lettering was in a plain silver with no special fonts.
The new cars were used to provide the same roadside service as the 750-class carriages, which had previously been used for passengers wishing to travel only part of the length of The Overland; say to Stawell or Horsham. This was done to allow passengers from those towns to travel to their local cities and return in the same day; arrival at Melbourne would be at 9am, and departure at 8pm.
It is not clear whether 12AS and 13AS spent any time in VR Blue and Gold between the red/silver and Overland liveries, although this is unlikely.
Change from red/silver to blue/gold
1954 saw an official change of colour scheme following the Royal Tour, and it was decided that the red/silver carriages (other than the two Overland ABS vehicles) would be repainted to a standard blue and yellow scheme, perhaps to better match the blue diesels that were quickly arriving. The carriages previously fitted with gold leaf had this replaced with Dulux 16078 Yellow, which better matched the paint of the new diesels and was much cheaper to apply and touch-up. It was also decided to paint the airconditioned E type carriages and a number of CE vans in the blue and yellow livery.
Repainting was slow, and in the short term the railways chose to use transfers instead of liquid paint with stencils, to ensure accuracy when applying class designations and the 2" and 3" stripes along the sides of the carriages. Occasionally a yellow transfer would be placed on a red carriage where the silver stripes had previously been; this would result in a cream colour, both for lines and lettering. This scheme first appeared on the debut run of The Gippslander, hauled by a L Class on 21 July 1954.
Wimmera and Mitta Mitta were painted blue in 1956, and Moorabool followed in 1958. It is thought that the latter was the last car in the red and silver livery. It is not known when Tanjil changed colour schemes.
New-build BS vehicles
In 1955-56 a further eight BS vehicles were constructed, numbered 8BS through 14BS. The new cars were fitted with fluorescent lighting from new, as had been installed in State Car 5 in 1951. 8BS was released in April 1955, then cars were delivered on a production line with a new one appearing every two to three months until December 1956. All new cars were painted in blue and yellow from the outset, and were constructed in a similar fashion to the last of the AS fleet, with smooth sides other than the dual line of rivets down the bottom of the carriage. It is not known whether these carriages were fitted with full-width diaphragms from the beginning or at all, but this is unlikely.
The Intercapital Daylight (ABS & Lounge/Club Car)
In September 1956, car 9AS was similarly altered internally to become 3ABS. However, the car was not repainted into the Overland colour scheme. This car was occasionally used on the Overland service to replace one of the other two, but for the most part it was converted for the new The Daylight service running from Melbourne to Albury.
This new train, which had been introduced on 26 March 1956, initially ran only three days per week with each half running to Albury on one day, then running back to Melbourne/Sydney the next. From 24 September the trains ran daily except Sunday, and the Melbourne half ran non-stop. The train towards Sydney ran in the early morning and connected at Albury, then turned on the Wodonga triangle and stabled until time to meet the arrival from Sydney and run back to Melbourne.
This train also included the former Parlor Car, now renamed the Lounge Car, in its eight-carriage standard consist. In 1958 the car was renamed again, this time to the Club Car (not to be confused with the three Overland Club Cars built in 1970).
Notably, around this time the Z type carriages were introduced; these were of a similar design but with a saloon layout internally, with two rows of seats either side of a central hallway in lieu of compartments.
Standard Gauge Classes, 1962-on
To provide rollingstock for the service to Sydney after the 1962 standardisation project, a number of carriages were converted to standard gauge. Because the codes would have overlapped with existing New South Railways codes, the cars were reclassed; the new codes were an approximation of appropriate NSW carriage codes, but with a "V" prefix to indicate the Victorian Railways as the owner.
The cars converted in 1962 were:
- 5BS and 6BS to VAC, as composite first class sitting/sleeping cars 2VAC and 1VAC respectively.
- VFS cars 1-4 from BS 10, 11, 14, 9 respectively. No changes made aside from gauge and identity. In 1964 cars 3 and 4 were converted to 1 and 2VFR respectively, by removing two compartments and inserting a short buffet section.
- 12BS and 13BS to 1VFX and 2VFX, a subtype of the VFS class with six of the eight compartments for passengers, and the final two compartments made staff-only, for use by the train hostesses and waitresses.
- Mitta Mitta, Wimmera and Tanjil to 1VRS through 3VRS respectively; Moorabool was not converted. Tanjil modified to full-length buffet but with 28 seats instead of 27, and the external doors welded shut.
- 1VHN and 2VHN ex 1CS and 2CS.
- Additional carriages of the VBW and VFW classes were sourced from the W type carriage fleet, van 35CE as 1VHE, and VFK, VBK and VAM carriages from the Z type carriage fleet, for a total of 36 carriages.
The steel carriages had art-deco font "VR" logos added at the corners, as well as car-number holding plates; however these were not applied in time for the inaugural run. The three VRS carriages had "Spirit of Progress" plates attached over the carriage names.
Broad Gauge in the 1960s & 1970s
After the Intercapital Daylight and Spirit of Progress had been moved to the standard gauge, the Victorian Railways' fleet of broad gauge steel carriages was cut quite drastically. This was not an immediate problem because the trains were transferred across with their stock, but some services to Albury were retained on the broad gauge. As a result, more carriages were needed. Around the same time, the air-conditioned first class E type carriages, 1AE, 3AE, 12AE and 36AE, were converted to second class vehicles to provide the balance between 1st and 2nd class to help balance the fleet. Including the E and Z type fleets, there were then 21 first-class, 3 composite and 23 second-class air conditioned sitting carriages on the broad gauge, along with special cars Moorabool, Avoca, Murray and Norman.
The dining car Moorabool was retained on The Gippslander, having replaced E type carriage Avoca.
7AS was the first air conditioned steel carriage to enter regular service on the Yarram line, starting from December 1962.
The Parlor/Lounge/Club Car was renamed Norman in 1963, taking its name from another carriage and was used as the new Commissioner's Carriage. The rounded end was modified with a diaphragm plate and door added to allow regular coupling to other vehicles as required, if and when the vehicle visited locations without suitable turning facilities. From this date, Norman was used as the Railway Commissioner's personal vehicle, used whenever they had to travel on official business or on their yearly inspection tours.
The Spirit Dining Car was renamed Murray in January 1963 and from 10 April 1964 it was transferred to standard gauge, as a spare vehicle which could be used if one of the three VRS buffet cars had to be pulled from service at short notice. To allow for this, the car was fitted with head-end power cables, but it retained its axle generators as an alternative power source, much like Z type carriages 3AZ and 3BZ. In practice Murray proved surplus to standard gauge requirements and by 24 July 1964 it was restored to broad gauge as a spare dining car available for hire, or, like Avoca, it could be used to replace Taggerty on the Bendigo line or Moorabool on the Gippsland line when either of those was due for maintenance. The name Murray was recycled from another E type carriage, one of two former Parlor cars used from 1906 on the Melbourne/Sydney express.
As of mid-1963, the broad gauge S type fleet included:
- AS 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 14, 15 & 16
- ABS 1, 2 & 3
- BS 1, 2, 3, 4, 7 & 8
- Moorabool, Murray & Norman
Of those, all except 1ABS and 2ABS were painted in blue and gold; those two cars were painted in a red, silver and black scheme to replicate the effect of the new Overland carriages on the Melbourne to Adelaide run.
Other air conditioned cars included:
- AZ 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 & 8
- BZ 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 & 7
- Taggerty, Avoca, Sleepers No.1, 2, 3 and 4, 4BE, 19BE, 31BE, 34BE, 49BE, 50BE, 51BE, 52BE, 1BG & 2BG
In October 1963 3ABS was converted back to 9AS, by restoring the first class layout to the half of the carriage which had been converted.
MBS "Mini-buffet" cars
In 1965, it was decided to provide buffet services on broad gauge trains, based on the service provided in the VFR cars and Taggerty. Cars 2BS and 3BS were released to service in 1966 as 1MBS and 2MBS. In 1968 9AS was converted to 3MBS (shortly after conversion back from ABS). The cars were marked externally as "Mini-Buffet". Of the eight original sitting compartments, five were retained. Two of the others were replaced with a serving counter and small eating area for twelve, while the final compartment and the toilet at that end was replaced with a kitchen. 3MBS had originally been allocated to the Mildura Sunlight up to April 1967; when that train was cancelled in favour of the Vinelander the vehicle was stored, then re-allocated to the Albury Express in July of the same year.
In 1983 MBS 1 was converted back to BS configuration, firstly to BS 13 as its original number had since been taken, then as BS 213 when the New Deal struck. MBS 2 and 3 retained their modifications, with MBS 2 becoming BRS 227, and MBS 3 becoming BRS 229 after spending a few months as BRS 9.
In 1966 the previously-utilised Art Deco font was replaced win Sans Serif lettering, to match the air-conditioned E type carriages, and to keep the Art Deco font exclusively with Spirit of Progress rolling stock.
In 1970 all references to "Second" class were abolished, but his led to passenger confusion so in 1975 cars previously categorised as such were re-labelled as "Economy" class. Rather than markings at the ends of the cars above the doors, the new class markings were applied in the centre. As previously, the art deco font was utilised on standard gauge for the Spirit train, and the sans serif font was applied to the broad gauge carriages.
In 1972 1ABS was converted back to 12AS, and 2ABS was converted to 15BS. This allowed for the formation of fixed van-first-economy air conditioned carriage sets, with non-airconditoned cars added as required for the mainline runs and for branch runs. However, this was not achieved because 7AS was destroyed in a derailment shortly after.
VicRail period (1976-1983)
In 1981 a new livery was introduced to help market the 1976 name change from "Victorian Railways" to "VicRail". The new scheme involved an all-over orange body with black below platform level, and two thick silver stripes along the sides at window height.
Vinelander cars (1977)
Sleeping Cars No.15 & No.16
The two VAC sleeping cars were withdrawn from standard gauge service and converted back to broad gauge at Newport Workshops, and the sitting compartments were replaced with full Twinette compartments. They were renumbered as No.15 and No.16, and allocated to the train.
The cars were renumbered SS285 and SS286 as part of the New Deal, then in 1989-1990 they were converted back to normal sitting cars as BS218 and BS219.
MRS "Restaurant" cars
To provide on-train food services, the last of the original rivetted BS carriages were converted to MRS cars in 1977. 4BS and 1BS became 1 and 2MRS. Internally they were similar to the MBS cars, but with four compartments' worth of lounge/eating area (for 24) and only three remaining sitting compartments. They were marked externally as the "Refreshment cars".
In 1982-83, 1MRS and 2MRS were converted to BRS cars in preparation for the New Deal deployment of standardised, interchangeable carriage sets. 1MRS became BRS225, and 2MRS became BRS226.
AS to BS conversions
In 1982 two AS carriages, 11 and 2, were converted to BS 1 and 2 respectively, recycling the identities of the first two second class S type carriages. This was around the time of the introduction of the N type carriages and conversion of AZ cars to ACZ, which meant that all trains automatically included first class accommodation; as a result loose first class carriages were generally no longer required.
New Deal (1983-1993)
One of the first moves of the New Deal was to provide food services on all the long-distance trains, replacing refreshment stops en route to accelerate the timetable and allow better service with fewer train sets. To provide for this, and because passengers generally preferred saloon seating over compartments, ten carriages from the S fleet were converted to the BRS arrangement; six compartments were retained (or restored, in some cases), and the remaining two replaced with a buffet module.
1983 saw 6AS, 16AS and 12AS converted to 1BRS, 2BRS and 3BRS along with 3MBS to 9BRS, and 1VFS and 1VFR returned from the standard gauge, becoming 8BRS and 10BRS respectively.
By the end of 1983 the New Deal numbering system had been crystallised, so over the following two years 1BRS became BRS221, 2BRS became BRS222 and so on; note the number after the code, rather than before as previously applied. 7BS went directly to BRS224, 1MRS to BRS225, 2MRS to BRS226 and 2MBS to BRS227, providing the full ten units.
- 1983: BRS 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10 --> BRS 221 to 230, MBS 2 to BS 13. Sleeper 15, Sleeper 16 to SS285, SS286. Later to BS218, BS219 for service with V/Line Passenger. Moorabool pulled from The Gippslander for BRNs.
- 1984: MRS 1 to BRS 226; BS 1, 2 (2nd) --> BS 201, 202
- 1986: green/white stripes
- 1988: Royal livery grey/white - Norman, Murray (8/89), State 5 with Royal Crest, ACZ252
Fixed carriage sets, mixed with Z cars.
Operation of fixed carriage sets was not introduced until the 1980s and the introduction of the N type carriages. Before this time S cars could appear on various intrastate trains with other Z type steel carriages, as well as older wooden bodied stock.
From the 1980s most of the S cars was placed into the Z type carriage sets, and from the mid-1990s were also added as additional cars in the N type sets. Today the 5 BS cars in V/Line service are placed in a single carriage set coded SZ7 (formerly SN7), along with a single BCZ carriage. The BS V/Line cars are in a Z coded set because the BCZ car is a classed as a Z.
When the V/Line Sprinter fleet was delivered in the early 1990s, a considerable portion of the S and Z type carriages were withdrawn from service, rendered surplus to requirements.
- 1993: Cars leased to West Coast Railway initially BRS222 and BS203 in set FZ52, BRS224 and BS205 in set FZ55 and BRS221 and BS207 in set FZ57; orange livery with new side decals
- 1994: BRS228 rendered surplus to requirements; replaced Goulburn as staff car for the Royal train, entered NWS 12/93, emerged 8/94 as Mitta Mitta but was newer fully commissioned into traffic. 3 compartments as 2-berth, possible recycle parts ex SS285/286; extended dining area, showers, one standard compartment and retention toilets fitted.
- 4/95: BRS 221, 222, 224, 225 and BS 203, 205, 207 sold to West Coast Railway
- 9/95: BRS 223 also sold to West Coast Railway
- 9/95: BS203, BRS222 damaged in Werribee derailment. Swapped for BS212 and BRS223 respectively ex V/Line.
- 11/95: Murray to V/Line Passenger livery
- 10/95: BRS 229, BS 201, BS 208, BS210 also sold to West Coast Railway.
- 1995: V/Line retained BS215-219, all orange. All else sold off.
- 1997: Sprinters damaged so BS216 (25.12.97) thru 219 slowly returned to service, much later BS215.
In December 1997, 1BS was leased from the Seymour Railway Heritage Centre by National Rail for use as a radio test vehicle. It was fitted with standard gauge bogies and travelled as far afield as Brisbane, Alice Springs and Perth before being returned in April 1998.
In the early 1990s van 1CS, ex 241VHN, was converted to a test car for accompanying rolling stock testing activities. After fulfilling that role for a short period of time the vehicle was sold to Great Northern Railway. When that operation closed down the van was sold to Southern Shorthaul Railroad, and shortly after that it was sold to the Seymour Railway Heritage Centre.
By original S-type identity, with current identity in brackets.
With Mainline Operators
- In service, Pacific National: 6AS (BRS 221), 12AS (BRS 223) 16AS (BRS 222), 4BS (BRS225) – Crew Cars
- In service, Aurizon: 15AS (QBCY 10-W), 8BS (QBCY 8-R) – Crew Cars
- Stored, V/Line Passenger, Newport East Block: 5BS (BS219), 6BS (BS218), 9BS (BS215), 12BS (BS216), 13BS (BS217)
In August 2017, V/Line sold 215 BS to 707 Operations, 216 BS, 218 BS & 219 BS to SRHC. 217 BS will be used for spare parts.
- Scrapped: 7AS, 1DS
- In service, 707 Operations, Newport West Block: 13AS (BS212), 10AS (BS205), 7BS (Williamstown)
- In service, Seymour Railway Heritage Centre: 3AS, 4AS (BS204), 1BS (BRS226), 3BS (BRS227) owned by the Victorian Railways (formerly GSRS) on loan to the SRHC, 10BS (Mitta Mitta), 1CS (owned outright, purchased ex SSR), Dining Car, Parlor Car, State Car 5
- Under restoration, Seymour Railway Heritage Centre: 11BS (BS214)
- In service, Steamrail Victoria, Newport West Block: 5AS, 8AS (BS206), 9AS (BRS9), 11AS, 2BS (BS213), 14BS (BRS14), Buffet 5 (Moorabool)
- Stored, Seymour Railway Heritage Centre, 1AS (BS209), 2AS (202BS), 10AS (203BS), State 5.
- Privately Owned: Buffet 2 (VRS232), stored at Tailem Bend, SA.
- Privately Owned: Buffet 4 (VRS233), stored at Seymour.
- Static display: Buffet 3 (VRS231), Australian Railway Historical Society Museum, Williamstown North
In April 2017, V/Line decided that they won't need their 5 BS carriages, after being in storage for 7 years at Newport, and where going to scrap them. SRHC stepped in to save the day and negotiated with V/Line to save the carriages. The carriages have now been sold to: 215 BS 707 Operations 216 BS SRHC 217 BS spare parts for either group 218 BS SRHC 219 BS SRHC The carriages are currently without bogies and are sitting on stands. Since their bogies are being used on other carriages, 707 and SRHC will provide bogies. These will be sent to Newport where the carriages will be lifted onto them. They will then be made roadworthy before being railed to their respective owners. The carriages have been tagged on the outside and the interior of one of them had been broken into and a dry powder fire extinguisher had been poured all over the seats. Apart from this, they are still in really good condition.
The S type carriage sitting cars all used a fairly straightforward arrangement, with eight compartments and a side corridor accessed by a vestibule at either end and inter-carriage diaphragms. First class carriages, later AS class, seated six passengers across two black leather benches in each compartment for a total capacity of 48, and each bench had two retractable arm-rests fitted. The second class carriages, later BS, used green leather seating with a single central retractable armrest, and were rated at 64 passengers with eight per compartment.
Sixteen AS carriages were built in total from 1937 to 1952. The first five were intended for the Spirit of Progress, and painted royal blue with gold leaf lining applied to the sides. The remaining 11 cars entered service in a red scheme with two silver painted lines in lieu of the gold leaf.
9AS, 12AS and 13AS were temporarily classed ABS from 1953; 9AS was restored in 1963, and 12AS in 1972. 9AS became 3MBS in 1968.
2ABS ex 13AS became 15BS in 1972, around the same time that 7AS was scrapped following a derailment near Werribee in 1970.
From the early 1980s the cars were recycled to other types, as first class demand had dropped off significantly. Eight AS cars (1-5, 10, 11 and 14) were converted directly to BS (numbers 209, 2/202, 211, 204, 7/207, 3/203, 1/201, 205) followed by AS206 ex 8AS and AS210 ex 15AS, which became BS206 and BS210 immediately when parts became available. 6AS, 12AS and 16AS were used to create BRS buffet cars 1/221, 3/223 and 2/222. 9AS was converted to 9BRS, and shortly after renumbered to BRS229.
As BS cars 207, 203 and 205, ex-AS cars 5, 10 and 14 and BRS cars 221 and 222 ex AS cars 6 and 16 were sold to West Coast Railway in April 1995 following a nearly two-year lease. They were later joined by BRS223 ex 12AS and BS201 ex 11AS, leaving V/Line with cars BS202, 204, 206, 209 and 211 ex cars 2AS, 4AS, 8AS, 1AS and 3AS respectively. Of those, BS206 and BS209 were sold to Steamrail Victoria; the former is now in service, while the latter is stored awaiting restoration, and stabled with privately owned 2AS. Seymour Rail Heritage Centre acquired BS204 and BS211, with the latter renumbered to 3AS and both in service. BS202 is currently stored in the 'rotten road' at Newport Railway Workshops and is privately owned.
West Coast Railway ceased operations in 2004, and their fleet was dispersed. BS cars 201 (ex 11AS), 203 (ex 5AS) and 229BRS (ex 9AS) went to Steamrail Victoria; the latter of those was renumbered 9BRS, and they are all now in service in blue and yellow. 707 Operations purchased BS205 (ex 10AS) and BS212 (ex 13AS), now both in maroon and operational. BRS 221, 222 and 223 (ex AS 6, 16 and 12) were sold to Pacific National for use as crew cars, and BRS229 was renumbered an unorthodox 9BRS and painted in blue and yellow by Steamrail Victoria. BS210 (ex 15AS) went to Queensland Rail, now Aurizon, and now operates as crew car QBCY10W.
Three ABS carriages were converted from first class carriages. Four compartments had their first class seats removed, and second class seats were substituted. 1ABS and 2ABS were converted in 1953 and painted in maroon with silver to provide short-distance capacity on the Melbourne to Adelaide Overland train, and were generally marshalled adjacent to the van; when the train stopped at short platforms, it made sense to have the van and the short-distance cars near each other as very few sleeping passengers would be exiting. The other two were painted in blue and yellow from around 1967, and in 1972 12AS was restored from 1ABS, while 2ABS ex 13AS became 15BS instead.
3ABS was converted in 1956 and painted in blue and yellow (over its previous red with silver scheme as 9AS), for use on the Daylight Express from Melbourne to Albury, connecting with a train to Sydney. In 1963 the car returned to its previous identity of 9AS.
BS, VFS, VFX and VFR
Fourteen BS carriages were built in total from 1937 to 1956. The first four were intended for the Spirit of Progress, and painted royal blue with gold leaf lining applied to the sides. The remaining 10 cars entered service in a red scheme with two silver painted lines in lieu of the gold leaf.
Eight of the fourteen cars then in service (5, 6 and 9 through 14BS) were moved across to standard gauge in 1962, becoming 2VAC, 1VAC, 4VFS, 1VFS, 2VFS, 1VFX, 2VFX and 3VFS respectively. The VAC cars were converted to a sleeping car interior; the VFS and VFX cars were largely unchanged, though two compartments in the VFX cars were reserved for staff. In 1964 3 and 4VFS each had a single compartment (second from the men's end) cleared out and converted to a supplementary food servery, to handle overflow from the buffet cars. These were renumbered 1VFR and 2VFR respectively.
In 1966 2BS and 3BS became MBS "mini buffet" cars 1 and 2, with three compartments and one of the toilets removed to make way for a medium-sized food serving area. They were joined by 3MBS ex 9AS (ex 3ABS) in 1968. As such, by 1970 there were only four BS carriages in service - 1, 4, 7 and 8.
2ABS ex 13AS was converted to 15BS in 1972.
In 1977 1BS and 4BS became 2MRS and 1MRS respectively; these cars were similar to the MBS conversions but with five compartments removed instead of three. At the same time the two VAC sleepers, 1 and 2 ex 6BS and 5BS, became Sleepers 15 and 16 on broad gauge.
In the early 1980s mass changes were made in the then-V/Line fleet, with many of the changes overlapping. 7BS became BRS224 in 1983, while 8BS was renumbered BS208 and 15BS became the second 12BS, later 212BS. At the same time eight AS cars were converted to BS, taking open number slots 1, 2, 3, and 7, shortly after renumbered BS201, 202, 203 and 207, and joined by direct converts BS204, 205, 209 and 211. Additionally, 1MBS ex 2BS was modified and reclassed 13BS, later BS213. As such, six BS identities - 1, 2, 3, 7, 12 and 13 - have been used by two different cars each. At the same time, 1MRS, 2MRS and 2MBS (ex 4BS, 1BS, 3BS) became BRS225-227. Sleepers No.15 and No.16 were reclassed SS285 and SS286.
Changes were also applied to the remaining standard gauge ex-BS fleet. 1VFR and 1VFS were returned to broad gauge and converted to 10 and 8BRS, later BRS230 and 228 respectively. 2VFS became VFS214, 2VFR became VFR215, and 1 and 2VFX became VFX216 and 217.
In 1990, cars 214 through 217 were moved back to broad gauge as BS214 and BS217, and joined by SS285 and SS286 converted to BS218 and BS219.
Overall, cars BS201-207 and BS209-212 were originally AS cars, while BS208 and BS213-219 were originally BS-cars (and of those, 214-219 had all operated on standard gauge).
Under the New Deal the BS cars were used in most long-distance loco-hauled sets, with one or two mixed in with BRS, BZ, BCZ, AZ and ACZ cars to give three, four or five carriage sets. From 1993 those regional sets were rendered obsolete, as the Sprinter railcars entered service. BS203, 205 and 207 were initially leased to West Coast Railway, and in April 1995 they were sold to WCR following that railway being allowed to run its own trains. By October 1995 they had been joined by BS201, BS208, BS210 and BS212.
The original plan for V/Line circa 1993 was to hold the leased BS cars for West Coast and a handful for themselves, and to sell off the remaining cars. Cars BS213 and BS214, originally 2BS and 11BS, were sold to Steamrail Victoria and the Seymour Railway Heritage Centre respectively, and both restored to their original liveries and identities.
When V/Line Passenger was incorporated their stock register included BS212 and BS215-219, though BS212 was quickly sold to West Coast Railway following a derailment at Werribee in 1995. The remaining cars were stored pending a future decision, but some of the Sprinter railcars were damaged after only a few years in service (and one of them, 7019, had to be scrapped), so the five remaining BS cars had to be pressed back into service. They were initially mixed in with the remaining Z sets until 2006, then later formed their own set initially with ACN21 ex set N7 forming set SN7, in 2007, and later with BCZ257 in set Z57/SZ7 when a patronage spike demanded the extra cars be retained.
West Coast Railway ceased operations in 2004, and their fleet was dispersed. Their only pure BS car, BS208 ex 8BS, was sold to Queensland Rail (since rebranded Aurizon) and converted to crew car QBCY8R. BRS224 (ex 7BS) was restored to that identity and sold to 707 Operations, and now runs in a red scheme with the name Williamstown applied to the side. BRS225 (ex 4BS) was sold to Pacific National and also operates as a crew car.
Nine of the ten BRS cars were converted from various AS and BS cars during 1983, followed by 2MRS to BRS226 in April 1984. The cars had six of the eight original compartments set up for second class passengers, with capacity for 48. Two compartments and a toilet were removed and replaced with a short buffet counter, similar to that provided in the BRN cars. The first six converted were given numbers 1, 2, 3, 8, 9 and 10, because the New Deal numbering concept had not yet been developed. Those cars all had 220 added to their identities, and the final four converts entered service as 224-227, giving a final fleet of BRS221 through BRS230.
Respectively, the ten cars had been converted from 6AS, 16AS, 12AS (ex 1ABS), 7BS (the first), 1MRS (ex 4BS), 2MRS (ex the first 1BS), 2MBS (ex 3BS), 1VFS from standard gauge (ex 10BS), 3MBS (ex 9AS/3ABS) and 1VFR (ex 3VFS/14BS).
Under the New Deal the BRS cars were used in most long-distance loco-hauled sets, with one or two mixed in with BS, BZ, BCZ, AZ and ACZ cars to give three, four or five carriage sets. From 1993 those regional sets were rendered obsolete, as the Sprinter railcars entered service. BRS221, 222, 224 and 225 were initially leased to West Coast Railway, and in April 1995 they were sold to WCR following that railway being allowed to run its own trains. By October 1995 they had been joined by BRS223 (replacing BRS222 damaged at Werribee) and BRS229.
That left V/Line with BRS cars 226, 227, 228 and 230. In 1994 BRS228 was reconfigured as a staff car and named Mitta Mitta to replace Goulburn, and painted in the V/Line corporate livery of grey with white, and orange and green bands above the window line. Mitta was subsequently obtained by Seymour Railway Heritage Centre and painted blue and Gold. BRS230 was restored to its original number but not class, and now runs as 14BRS with Steamrail Victoria. One was sold to Seymour Railway Heritage Centre, painted in blue and yellow and now operate as 1BS (converted 1997) and another, 3BS was sold to Great Southern Railway Society, being 226 and 227 respectively. 1BS had been used in December 1997 on standard gauge, having been leased by SRHC to National Rail for radio testing; it was returned in April 1998.
West Coast Railway ceased operations in 2004, and their fleet was dispersed. BRS221, 222, 223 and 225 (ex 6AS, 16AS, 12AS and 4BS) were sold to Pacific National for use as crew cars. BRS224 (ex 7BS) was painted in red with the name Williamstown applied to the sides and now operates with 707 operations, while BRS229 was renumbered an unorthodox 9BRS and painted in red and yellow by Steamrail Victoria.
To provide for the Spirit of Progress's conversion to Standard Gauge from 1962, two of the BS class carriages were converted to composite sitting/sleeping cars, for the run from Melbourne to Canberra.
6BS became 1VAC, and 5BS became 2VAC. One car was attached to each train (with a spare 1VAM). From the No.1 end, compartment 1 was left unaltered and compartment 2 was converted to first class accommodation, with six seats in place of eight and additional armrests. The remaining six compartments were cleared out, and every second interior wall was removed. Compartment pairs 3 & 4, 5 & 6 and 7 & 8 had their separation walls shifted, so that each compartment could sit three or sleep two passengers, with wardrobes taking up the remaining space. The three-seat assembly at the outer wall of each compartment pair could fold down to provide one bed, while the other was permanently in-situ. Each car had a capacity of 8 2nd and 24 1st class passengers in daytime, or 8 2nd, 6 1st and 12 sleeping passengers at night.
Compartments 1 and 2 were refitted to the same pattern as the rest circa 1977, giving a capacity of 24 sitting passengers, or a night time capacity of 16 passengers.
In 1978 the two cars were returned to broad gauge, and took on the numbers No.15 Sleeper ex 1VAC and No.16 Sleeper ex 2VAC, following on from Sleepers 1-10 ex E type carriages and Sleepers 11-14 ex V&SAR Overland Carriages, for operation on the Mildura train.
In late 1984 and early 1985 the two were renumbered SS285 and SS286 in line with the New Deal numbering system. When the Vinelander sleeping car service started winding down in the late 80's/early 90's, the cars were converted back to their original BS format, as BS218 and BS219.
Dining car (Murray)
The original Dining Car built for the Spirit of Progress train, this vehicle entered service on 17 November 1937. The car had six tables either side of the central aisle in the dining saloon, and each of those could sit four, for a total capacity of 48 diners at any time. Given that the maximum-capacity Spirit of Progress set had capacity for over 400 passengers, so only a handful of them could be provided with the full dinner service in the short runtime.
The car was renamed Murray in 1963.
In September 1989 the car was repainted to V/line's corporate livery of grey with white, and thin orange and green bands above the windows. It was repainted again at Seymour in November 1995 to the then-new V/Line Passenger livery, with all-over red, a blue roof and a white stripe in line with the corporate logo; the car did not receive the later version of the scheme with the white stripe at window-height. Later, it was painted in a "heritage" livery, with dark red as the base and yellow lining and dots to simulate the look of the original livery as applied to the AVE and BVE cars; and by 2007 it had been returned to the Victorian Railways scheme, though with yellow painted stripes in lieu of gold leaf.
The buffet cars were initially allocated to longer-distance passenger services around Victoria. The four cars, plus E type carriage Taggerty, were used to provide lunch and dinner services on trains that needed to run express, and so couldn't afford to make stops at Railway Refreshment Rooms. These trains also generally used more powerful locomotives, which did not require the additional stops for refuelling and could handle the excess weight not used for passengers. When they entered service the cars were painted red, to match the timber stock then in use on most trains, with a silver band to indicate their higher quality of service.
Wimmera & Mitta Mitta
These two cars originally entered service on The Overland between Melbourne and Serviceton. The cars were fitted with a long counter serving 27 eating passengers taking up most of the car length, with the remainder of the area used as a small kitchen. No side doors were provided except for kitchen staff; passengers were expected to walk through the train to access the car's facilities. From 1945 the cars were transferred to run alternate journeys on the Albury Express run.
Tanjil & Moorabool
These two cars entered service on the Warrnambool and Horsham daily trains. As the roster included some stops at stations with refreshment facilities less onboard capacity was required, so the benches were reduced to only 19 eating passengers and the remainder of the car length was used for regular first-class compartments, as provided in AS-class sitting carriages. That end of the car was fitted with a vestibule and external passenger doors both sides. The cars were stored at Newport Workshops during the second world war, as onboard catering services were not practical with limited fuel and locomotive resources. After the war Tanjil ran on The Gippslander and Moorabool was a spare retained at the Spencer Street dining car depot; by 1952 these allocations had reversed.
In 1962 Tanjil was modified to internally match Wimmera and Mitta Mitta (though with 28 seats spaced slightly closer), and all three were transferred across to standard gauge to provide onboard catering facilities for the new standard gauge Spirit of Progress, reclassed to 1, 2 and 3VRS.
Moorabool was retained on the broad gauge system for The Gippslander until the mid-1980s, when it was withdrawn in lieu of BRN cars in fixed N sets. The car was then reallocated to the Train of Knowledge.
Parlor car (Lounge Car, Club Car, Norman)
The Parlor car was built as the final carriage in the Spirit of Progress consist. It entered service on 17 November 1937, in a royal blue scheme with two gold-leaf bands. Originally the car was planned to have flat ends, like the rest of the fleet. Later, the design was altered to provide for the rounded end, allowing for better views from the rear of the train. To ensure that the car was at the rear of the train on every run, the whole Spirit of Progress consist was reversed in the North Melbourne Reversing Loop in Melbourne, and on the triangle between Wodonga, Coal Sidings and Bandiana near Albury. This train, along with the wooden Albury Express with cars Yarra and Murray, were the only trains in Victoria where the guard was permitted to travel in a van adjacent to the locomotive, rather than in the rear carriage.
The interior arrangement of the car included a small 8 ft (2.44 m) conductor's compartment with doors both sides, then two 4 ft 3 in (1.30 m) bathrooms, then a 3 ft 6 in (1.07 m) corridor, followed by a 20 ft 7⁄8 in (6.12 m) smoking compartment for 13 passengers, and finally the round-ended observation compartment at 30 ft 4 in (9.25 m) with room for 20 seats.
In March 1956 a new Daylight Express was introduced between Melbourne and Sydney (with passengers changing trains at Albury), including an assortment of AS, BS, AZ and BZ sitting carriages and one of the S type buffet cars. In April 1957 the car was moved from the Spirit of Progress across to the Daylight train, allowing passengers to better enjoy the view form the rear carriage. It was renamed the Lounge Car for the new duty.
On 13 May 1958 the car was rebuilt internally. The conductor compartment was reallocated as the guard compartment, and all the seating was rearranged. The former smoking saloon was cleared out and replaced with a small buffet, plus five semicircle tables against the walls of the carriage and 12 loose chairs provided. The seats in the observation compartment were removed and replaced with AZ reclining and rotating seat pairs, with six units per side and two final couch seats either side of the flower table against the rear window. In this form, the rear lettering "SPIRIT OF PROGRESS" was replaced with "THE DAYLIGHT", but it is not clear whether the lettering was gold leaf, or gold or yellow paint. The car stayed on the train until it switched across to standard gauge on 21 April 1962.
After the full introduction of the standard gauge passenger service, new lounge cars were provided on the new premier train, the Southern Aurora, but the Spirit of Progress was downrated to the second-tier service and it was not provided with any such service. The Club Car was rendered obsolete in that sense, so the car was returned to Newport Workshops and rebuilt again. It re-entered service on 21 March 1963, renamed Norman. The name and purpose had been recycled from the previous carriage, which had been reserved for use by railway officials on inspection tours around the state, and other high-profile events. The car was extensively rebuilt for the new purpose; a flexible diaphragm was fitted to the flat end in lieu of the full-width, collapsible steel-plated diaphragm, which had been intended to make the Spirit of Progress train look like one unit rather than individual carriages. End windows were cut into the body at that end either side of the doorway. An additional door was also cut into the rounded end of the carriage, allowing access/egress when the carriage was parked in a railmotor dock or similar; and both ends were fitted with external marker lights above the roofline and at around waist height. Internally the car was gutted and nearly everything was replaced. The flat end was refitted with a small 11 ft 2.6875 in (3.42 m) office/meeting area with four individual seats provided, replacing the former guard compartment and male bathroom. The ladies' bathroom was retained and made unisex. A 14 ft 9.5 in (4.51 m) kitchen area with buffet counter was fitted over where the former buffet and semicircle tables were placed, and expanding somewhat into the observation saloon. That saloon was fitted with a central table of 17 ft (5.18 m), surrounded with 21 seats. The three windows adjacent to the kitchen were partially filled in, allowing for a higher cooking surface.
The car had its axle-mounted generator system replaced with head-end power connections in 1977.
In the New Deal the car was allocated the identity of OS237, and this was officially used from October 1985; though the name Norman was still in use. The car was repainted to the V/Line Corporate livery of white and grey with orange and green stripes above the windowline, for the 1988 royal tour. The code was rescinded in October 1995, when the car was allocated to V/Line Passenger. It was then repainted in an early version of the V/Line Passenger livery, with an all-over red body, white window frames, and a blue roof separated from the body with a thin white line . Then, around 2000, the car was repainted into a facsimile of the original E type carriage scheme, with a dark red body outlined with yellow lines and dots.
The car was allocated to the Seymour Railway Heritage Centre in early 2007 and repainted into blue and gold in November 2007.
The first plastic ready-to-run carriages for the Victorian HO scale market were released by Powerline in 1992-93, as a run of the smooth-sided S type carriages. The range was fairly straightforward but of reasonable standard for the time, with no interiors and limited underframe detail. 1992 saw the release of an BS (Economy), AS, VAC and an uncoded carriage in VR Blue (product numbers P435-P437, P439); in 1993 the range was expanded upon with orange/silver units SS and AS/BS uncoded (P457, P459), and V/Line coaches 208BS, 210BS, 218BS (all as P455) and 222BRS (P456). Finally, in 1996, unnumbered AS and BS coaches were released in the red and silver scheme (P415A, P416A). It is likely that the missing P438 was the composite First/Second class carriage  and the missing P458 may have been the first class 206AS or 210AS in V/Line orange.
Records are not immediately available, but it is known that some dining/buffet were also released with different window patterns, usually as part of a three-carriage set. One such set was P161, which included three red carriages - an AS, a BS and a buffet car. Another set included an AS, a BS and the buffet car Wimmera, all three in blue and gold. The buffet car was a new body with rivets added, on the same underframe.
Later runs included the VR Blue BS coach with "Second" on the carriage sides , West Coast Railway BS and BRS carriages and V/Line Passenger BS cars , and trios of the orange coaches were included in starter train sets. By the early 2000s these coaches were selling for around $45.00 each.
In 2015 Powerline announced a new range of S type carriages, based on the original mouldings from the 1993 release but updated with better underframes and detailing, Kadee couplers and a modelled interior. The range includes all 1940-1955 built cars in at least one point of their service life, as well as BS211, BS213 and BRS226 which originated as riveted 1937 cars 3AS, 2BS and 1BS respectively.
1962-era Blue and Gold carriages 1 and 2VFS plus 1VFX and 2VFX for the standard gauge service were released, along with mid-1970s era 6AS, 7AS, 7BS and 8BS for the broad gauge. The latter two are marked "ECONOMY" rather than "SECOND". No standard gauge "ECONOMY" cars were released, nor any cars in the pre-1960's maroon scheme.
Individual models were released of 9BS and 10BRS, and a three-pack of BS210, 3BS and 224BRS in the original 1981-1983 Teacup scheme. In the later scheme with V/Line logos but retaining the silver stripe (1984-1986), the run included models of AS210, 10BRS and BS212-BS214-BRS226 as a three-pack. The 1986-1995 era release has BS213, BRS223 and BS210-BS211-BRS229 in V/Line orange with white and green stripes.
West Coast Railway is represented with models BS205, BS212, BRS222 and BS206-BS201-BRS221 in blue with white and yellow.
Lastly, BS215, BS216, and BS217-BS218-BS219 were released in V/Line Passenger's regal red with white and blue scheme, providing the majority of carriages required to model sets Z57 and (in conjunction with a renumbered Auscision N car) SN7.
The first run of models featured a full brass body preassembled and painted, with onboard lighting included. Two main sets were produced; the first was a five-carriage Spirit of Progress set dated for the 1950s, including one each of the CS, BS, Dining, AS and Parlor cars, for $2,750. Customers who purchased this set had the further option of buying pairs of carriages for an additional $1,100, including 10AS-9BS, 11AS-10BS or 12AS-11BS.
The second main set represented the standard gauge iteration of the Spirit of Progress, with a boxed set of ten carriages including a single VAC, VFX, VFR, VHN and two VFS carriages in addition to two Z-type carriages and two Aurora-type carriages, priced at $5,500.
Expected to be delivered in mid-2015, Trainbuilder has announced a second run of the brass models, this time removing the internal lighting features in order to keep the price per carriage down to only $395 individually, or $1,975 for a five-car set.
This second run will include the five-carriage Spirit of Progress representative set with one each of the AS, BS, CS, dining and parlor cars. Individual cars include 1-5AS, 1-4BS with both Second and Economy lettering, 1CS, 1-2MBS with both Second and Economy lettering, 1-5AZ and 1-5BZ, the Dining Car and the Parlor Car, all in Victorian Railways blue and gold.
In V/Line Orange, the range includes 202, 209, 211 and 213BS, 252-254ACZ, 251BCZ, 264-267BZ and 226-227BRS.
- V/Line Cars.com - BS Carriages - retrieved 19 October 2006
- Railpage Australia: Car Set SN7 (later SZ7) to enter service this week
- Bray, Vincent & Gregory, Steel & Special Coaching Stock of Victoria, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9775056-8-5, p.56
- Bray, Vincent & Gregory, Steel & Special Coaching Stock of Victoria, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9775056-8-5, p.68-71
- Bray, Vincent & Gregory, Steel & Special Coaching Stock of Victoria, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9775056-8-5, p.112-118
- Bray, Vincent & Gregory, Steel & Special Coaching Stock of Victoria, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9775056-8-5, p.277-278
- Bray, Vincent & Gregory, Steel & Special Coaching Stock of Victoria, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9775056-8-5, p.279
- Bray, Vincent & Gregory, Steel & Special Coaching Stock of Victoria, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9775056-8-5, p.245
- Bray, Vincent & Gregory, Steel & Special Coaching Stock of Victoria, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9775056-8-5, p.253
- Bray, Vincent & Gregory, Steel & Special Coaching Stock of Victoria, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9775056-8-5, p.269
- Bray, Vincent & Gregory, Steel & Special Coaching Stock of Victoria, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9775056-8-5, p.108-111
- Bray, Vincent & Gregory, Steel & Special Coaching Stock of Victoria, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9775056-8-5, p.182-183
- Bray, Vincent & Gregory, Steel & Special Coaching Stock of Victoria, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9775056-8-5, p.195-196
- Bray, Vincent & Gregory, Steel & Special Coaching Stock of Victoria, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9775056-8-5, p.200
- Bray, Vincent & Gregory, Steel & Special Coaching Stock of Victoria, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9775056-8-5, p.267
- Bray, Vincent & Gregory, Steel & Special Coaching Stock of Victoria, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9775056-8-5, p.276
- Bray, Vincent & Gregory, Steel & Special Coaching Stock of Victoria, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9775056-8-5, p.192-193
- Bray, Vincent & Gregory, Steel & Special Coaching Stock of Victoria, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9775056-8-5, p.195-196
- Bray, Vincent & Gregory, Steel & Special Coaching Stock of Victoria, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9775056-8-5, p.267
- Bray, Vincent & Gregory, Steel & Special Coaching Stock of Victoria, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9775056-8-5, p.285
- Bray, Vincent & Gregory, Steel & Special Coaching Stock of Victoria, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9775056-8-5, p.286
- Bray, Vincent & Gregory, Steel & Special Coaching Stock of Victoria, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9775056-8-5, p.290
- Bray, Vincent & Gregory, Steel & Special Coaching Stock of Victoria, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9775056-8-5, p.204-206
- Bray, Vincent & Gregory, Steel & Special Coaching Stock of Victoria, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9775056-8-5, p.149-150
- Bray, Vincent & Gregory, Steel & Special Coaching Stock of Victoria, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9775056-8-5, p.179
- Bray, Vincent & Gregory, Steel & Special Coaching Stock of Victoria, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9775056-8-5, p.211-214
- Bray, Vincent & Gregory, Preserved Rolling Stock of Victoria, 2013, ISBN 978-0-9806806-4-5, p.180
- Bray, Vincent & Gregory, Steel & Special Coaching Stock of Victoria, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9775056-8-5, p.260
- Bray, Vincent & Gregory, Steel & Special Coaching Stock of Victoria, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9775056-8-5, p.194
- Bray, Vincent & Gregory, Steel & Special Coaching Stock of Victoria, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9775056-8-5
- Newsrail Jan 1997, p.7
- Newsrail May 1997
- Newsrail January 1997 p.8
- Newsrail Jan 1997, p.8
- Newsrail May 1997
- "Mysterious Visitor" Railway Digest July 1998 page 37
- Bray, Vincent & Gregory, Steel & Special Coaching Stock of Victoria, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9775056-8-5, p.56
- Bray, Vincent & Gregory, Steel & Special Coaching Stock of Victoria, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9775056-8-5, p.56
- Bray, Vincent & Gregory, Steel & Special Coaching Stock of Victoria, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9775056-8-5, p.269
- Bray, Vincent & Gregory, Steel & Special Coaching Stock of Victoria, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9775056-8-5, p.179
- Bray, Vincent & Gregory, Steel & Special Coaching Stock of Victoria, 2009, ISBN 978-0-9775056-8-5, p.149
- Model Railways in Australia #36, ISSN 1836-0742
- V/Linecars.com - BS Carriages
- Peter J Vincent: AS cars
- Peter J Vincent: BS cars
- Peter J Vincent: MRS cars
- Peter J Vincent: MBS cars
- Peter J Vincent: VAC cars
- Peter J Vincent: VFR cars
- Newsrail August 2010
- Australian Model Railway Magazine, February 1992, April 1992, June 1993, October 1993, October 1995.