Rail rollingstock in New South Wales

Rail rollingstock in New South Wales

The railways of New South Wales, Australia, use a large variety of passenger and freight rollingstock.


Suburban Passenger Rollingstock

From the opening of the first railway line in Sydney in 1855, suburban steam hauled trains operated suburban services. By 1890, suburban steam hauled trains ran frequently from Sydney to Homebush, Parramatta and Hurstville. Less frequent services operated to Liverpool, Ryde, Hornsby, Sutherland and Waterfall. Often these trains were mixed trains, i.e. they carried goods and passengers. By 1914, plans were being drawn up to electrify the Sydney suburban rail lines.

Single Deck

1920 Wooden single deck cars

Preserved Bradfield motor car C3045 at the NSW Rail Transport Museum in 2010.

In the 1920s, the Bradfield electrification programme began. Up until then, trains continued to be sets of steam locomotive-hauled wooden end-platform cars. In 1921, 101 wooden bodied driving-motor cars (later numbered C3000-3100) were built by Ritchie Bros and Meadowbank Manufacturing Coy. C3045 (now preserved) was built by the Railway Workshops as a prototype, but became the very last to enter traffic in 1923. They were originally steam hauled EBB/EFA cars, prior to conversion to electric traction with the opening of the first section of electrified line between Sydney and Oatley in 1926. These wooden cars had steel sheathing for additional strength, and became known as the 'Bradfield Cars'. Some "Bradfield" cars were converted to Parcel Vans after accidents. Other "Bradfield" cars were rebuilt to resemble "Standard" (1927 type) cars in the 1960s, to prolong their lives until new double-deck cars could be delivered to replace them. The last "Bradfield" power-cars were withdrawn from service in 1975. C3045 is preserved static at the Rail Transport Museum, Thirlmere, whilst C3082 has been retained by State Rail Heritage. C3082, the former Elcar "Pilot" Shunter, was used on a number of single-deck railfan tours in the 1980s often with Wooden trailer car T4279.

At the same time, 193 steam-hauled end-platform cars were rebuilt into 184 electric trailer cars (T4101 to 4284) and nine driving trailer cars (D4001 to 4009). They were in service much longer than intended, being finally replaced by the Tulloch single deck, and later double-deck, trailers from the 1950s onwards. D4001 & 4006 were converted to Parcel Vans driving trailers. T4279 is preserved and has been used on many railfan single-deck tours in the 1980s and early 1990s. D4004 is also preserved awaiting restoration, but not operable. [1]

1925 All-Steel cars

With the planned opening of the Sydney underground lines and electrification, it was proposed to build steel bodied suburban cars. As no such cars were built in Australia before, an initial 50 cars (numbered 3101-3150) were built by the Leeds Forge Company in Leeds, UK and assembled at Eveleigh. Some of these cars were briefly used in steam-hauled service during 1925 as EFA cars 2213 to 2262 before conversion to electric traction. C3101 was used in initial trials with Wooden driving trailer D4001 before the commencement of electric services in March, 1926. After 1976, C3102 was the oldest electric car in service and was specially painted in 1940's livery with buff lining until its retirement in 1989. This car is now preserved by State Rail Heritage.

1926–1960 Single Deck Steel Cars

"Sputnik" power car C3704 is now used as an office for 3801 Limited at Eveleigh

Between 1926 and 1960, a total of 417 motor cars and 417 trailer cars were built by various contractors including Leeds Forge Co. of England, Walsh Island Dockyard, Clyde Engineering, Tulloch Limited and Comeng. The pre-war "1927 type" cars were known as the "Standard" cars as they dominated the suburban fleet, and featured First and Second Class travel until 1 January 1940. More cars (the majority being trailer cars), were delivered by Tullochs Ltd between 1940 and 1957 to cater for system expansion, and to replace many of the decrepit Wooden trailer cars. The 80 cars built by Comeng from 1957–60 (40 motor and 40 trailer cars) became known as the "Sputnik" cars. They had 4 single power operated doors on each side and were of spot-welded construction.[2] These cars were introduced at the time of electrification extension from Parramatta to Penrith. One 8-car set of Tulloch cars was fitted with power-doors and ran from 1956 to 1976 as set F39. Between 1968 & 1973, 97 Standard & Tulloch motor-cars were converted from two to four motors on new air-ride bogies for better performance and adhesion, starting with C7500 (ex C3500). These single deck electric multiple unit (EMU) sets were the backbone of the Sydney suburban network until the stainless-steel double deck cars of the S (and later C, K & R) sets took over. The last of the Sputniks had their final retirement in 1993. Many cars were painted blue & white during the PTC years from 1972 onwards, and the last blue & white cars were repainted in 1987. Several cars were fitted with Beclawat sliding windows during overhauls as a cost-cutting measure (see photo). After 1976, they carried a deep 'Indian Red' livery until their retirement. In 1991, one eight-car set H22 was painted in a special livery to promote Taronga Zoo. Two power-door W-sets were painted in special liveries for the Zoo (W1) and to mark Sydney's Sesqicentenary (W2). Many of the motor cars were marshalled with the Tulloch double deck trailer cars (see below) to form 4 or 8 car mixed single and double deck sets.[3] In their final years, these cars became associated with the derogatory term 'red rattlers' by the State Government and the media.

Double Deck

1964 Tulloch double deck trailers (1964–2003)

Tulloch trailer car T4873 forms part of a R or S set.

In the 1960s, tenders were called for double deck electric passenger cars. In 1964, the first of 120 'Tulloch trailers' were delivered[4], and integrated into the single deck sets. The cars were built by Tulloch Limited, and were numbered 4801-4920, by only operating across the City Circle, South, Bankstown, East Hills and Inner West Lines (Sector 2). They consisted of normal floor level over the bogies, with a double deck passenger section between the bogies. The cars were largely riveted aluminium, with steel underframes. They carried green internal livery and were painted Tuscan Red on the outside sides with painted silver roofs to match the single deck carriages. For the first time in Sydney, fluorescent internal lighting and air suspension bogies were used. The initial 40 cars were used in power door sets, the remainder in non-powered door sets, and they replaced the remaining wooden bodied trailer cars. In 1987, W-set trailers T4834-4838 were converted to manual door M-set cars by having their power-doors disconnected, and rewired from 120-volt to 32 volt operation. The Tullochs were painted in the colour scheme of the day (blue & white and later deep Indian red). Cars T4839 to 4895 were later painted grey and marshalled into sets containing Comeng & Goninan double deck cars (see below) as 'R & S sets'. Cars T4834 - 4838 and 4896 - 4920 continued to operate with older single deck motor cars as 'M Sets'. The W set trailers (T4801-4833) and M set trailers (T4834-4838 & 4896-4920) were withdrawn in 1994 with the retirement of all single deck suburban stock, the cars marshalled with Comeng power cars in W sets saw service until February 2004, before the introduction of the Millennium Trains. Cars 4801, 4814, 4840, 4843, 4844, 4849, 4850 4854, 4874, 4881, 4799 have been kept for preservation.

These trailers operated on:

  • Western Line- Emu Plains/ Richmond to Central via Strathfield
  • North Shore Line- Berowra/ Honsby to Central via Chatswood
  • South Line - City Circle to Macarthur via Granville
  • Inner West Line - City Circle to Liverpool via Regents Park
  • Bankstown Line - City Circle to Liverpool via Bankstown
  • East Hills Line - City Circle to Macarthur via Sydenham (then via Airport Line in 2000-2003)

1968 Prototype Double Deck Power Cars (1968–2003)

C3803 on set S10.

In 1966, after the success of the Tulloch double-deck trailers, tenders were called for double deck motor cars. In 1968, four experimental double-deck motor cars (numbered C3801-3804) were built by Tulloch and entered service[5] enabling the first eight car double deck train, set S10, to operate by marshalling them with four Tulloch trailers T4839, 4840, 4843 & 4844. Each power-car carried electrical equipment from different manufacturers for evaluation purposes: C3801 (Mitsubishi), 3802 (Toshiba), 3803 (Hitachi) and 3804 (English Electric). Set S10 proved unreliable[6] and the single-deck "Sputnik" C3701-series power-cars often deputised for Tulloch power cars out of service. In 1977, it was decided to disband the set to convert them to trailers. C3801 was converted to T4797 in 1980 and C3803 became T4799 in 1982. Conversion of C3802 to T4798 was started at Elcar Workshops, but never finished and it was later scrapped. C3804 is now preserved at the Rail Transport Museum, Thirlmere. They were withdrawn from service in February 2004.

These trailers operated on the:

  • South Line - City Circle to Macarthur via Granville
  • Inner West Line - City Circle to Liverpool via Regents Park
  • Bankstown Line - City Circle to Liverpool via Bankstown
  • East Hills Line - City Circle to Macarthur via Sydenham (then via Airport Line in 2000-2003)

T4799 is the only surviving car to run with the 'R and S sets' after the scrapping of T4797 and T4798. T4799 is currently stored in western New South Wales with 12 or 13 other cars.

1972 Comeng Power Cars

A Comeng power car in the short-lived PTC livery of the 1970s
A Comeng power car in present CityRail livery with destination board

In 1972, the first Comeng-constructed stainless steel double deck power-cars entered service. These cars (numbered C3805-3857) were loosely based on the recently introduced inter-urban cars. Their stainless steel bodies were painted the standard 'Tuscan Red' to match the livery of the existing fleet. Cars C3844-3857 were delivered in the blue and white livery of the Public Transport Commission in the 1970s. These cars were later repainted to deep Indian red after 1976, before being paint-stripped to run in their original stainless steel finish in the early 1980s. They were initially marshalled into sets (from S11 onwards) with Tulloch trailers T4841, 4842 & 4845 to 4895, which had their passenger doors modified from manual to power operation. Internally, they had reversible seating with a light tan upholstery, and a grey and off-white internal livery. Beclawat sliding windows were fitted to the upper and lower decks, with drop windows in the doors. The sliding windows were replaced with Hopper windows in the 1990s and internally they were repainted light grey with blue upholstered seating. These motor cars had tapered ends, which were fitted with destination boards in the 1990s. With the introduction of the Millennium Trains in 2002, several early Comeng power-cars were converted to non-driving trailers, with their pantographs removed, and renumbered T4701 - 4723.

1973 Comeng Power and Trailer Cars

In 1973, additional 54 Comeng power cars C3858 - 3911, and 56 Comeng trailer cars T4921 - 4962, were ordered to coincide with the opening of the [[Eastern Suburbs & Illawarra railway line |Eastern suburbs railway line]]. These trailer cars were the first to be of stainless steel construction, and they had an extra row of seats on the top deck (and are thus distinguished by an extra single window at the centre of the car on both decks). Ten driving trailers D4011 - 4020 were built with small driver's compartments for 2-car trains. However, they never saw service as driving cars due to Union bans. Subsequently, 25 driving trailer cars D4021 - 4045 (with large guard's compartments) were also built to be paired with a driving motor car to allow 2 car sets to be operated. Ten driving trailers were diesel hauled on South Coast suburban services, south of Thirroul, prior to electrification. Ten driving trailers, renumbered D4001 - 4010, were used for two car shuttles in the initial period after the electrification of the Richmond Line. These driving trailer cars subsequently had their driving equipment removed and were converted into standard non-driving trailer cars.[7] Extended orders saw the Comeng double-deck fleet expanded to include power-cars C3912 - 3986 & 3741 - 3765, trailers T4963 - 4987 and driving trailers D4046 - 4095 by 1982. By 1976, one quarter of suburban cars were double deck. All the 1973 cars are now integrated with earlier stock and operate as L, R & S Sets. With the introduction of the Millennium Trains in 2002, several early Comeng power-cars were converted to non-driving trailers, with their pantographs removed, and renumbered T4701 - 4723.

1978 Goninan Cars

Goninan car leads set S49 at Clyde station

In the 1970s, Goninan and Co in Newcastle entered the passenger car construction market. In 1978, Goninan built 80 power cars C3001 - 3080 and 70 trailer cars T4101 - 4170. Unlike the Comeng cars the power cars had a flat front end and Pullman Standard fluting, and the upper deck passenger windows were set significantly lower than the earlier Comeng cars reducing passenger sight lines (a source of complaint from passengers).[7] When the Eastern Suburbs Railway was opened in 1979, only stainless-steel Comeng or Goninan double deck cars were meant to operate on this line, but the painted Tulloch double-deck trailers were also used. In 1981, a brand new four-car Goninan set conveyed H.M. Queen Elizabeth II from Bankstown (which was declared a City by the Queen) to Martin Place. For this occasion the train was specially fitted out with carpets and other refinements. The set was targeted "R1" for the occasion. These cars continue to operate in 2007 as L, R and S sets. They are the youngest non-air conditioned passenger train in service in Sydney.

All 1978 and earlier rolling stock will be withdrawn from service from early 2012 when the 626 new A set Waratah carriages (78 sets) replace them and during this all air conditioned rolling stock will remain.

1981 Goninan Power and Trailer cars

K set 85 at Parramatta station.

In 1981, Goninan built the first air-conditioned cars for the Sydney suburban network. Until then, Sydney had lagged somewhat behind other cities that had commenced the introduction of air-conditioned stock. In order to fit the air-conditioning equipment into the motor cars, the pantographs were moved to the trailers, effectively meaning that a motor car must remain semi-permanently coupled to a trailer car. Four driving trailer cars D4096–4099 were also ordered allowing 2 cars sets to be operated with power cars C3501–3504. The first 8 car set (R1) was delivered with air-conditioning, followed by 90 forced ventilation cars C3505–3549 & T4171–4215, during the delivery process for this order, C3550 and T4216 were delivered, fully fitted with air-conditioning.

Following this, the next order, numbered from C3551 and T4217, were also fitted with forced-air ventilation, and were fhe first to be fitted with air-conditioning.

The first 100 cars had their upper deck windows at the unpopular lower height of the earlier Goninan cars, the final 60 were modified and these final 60 were distinguished by their front end being painted into the 'candy' white, orange and red State Rail livery of the time. The final batch (C3551-3580 & T4217-4246) also featured bright yellow internal walls. The forced ventilation cars were later retrofitted with air-conditioning, and the Beclawat sliding windows replaced by fixed panes in the late 1990s. Also at this time, the standard light grey internal livery was adopted, and the seats were replaced with blue upholstery.[8] 160 of these cars were delivered until 1985, and continue to operate in 2011 as K sets.

1985 Goninan Cars

A 1985 Goninan set in current CityRail livery and with destination box

In 1985, a new generation of advanced suburban passenger train was being considered by the State Rail Authority. There was a delay in the construction of these trains, and 56 interim stainless steel airconditioned cars, C3581-3608 and T4247-4274, were built by Goninan, known as the 'Chopper Cars' for their chopper control. These cars trialed several features of the soon-to-be-introduced next generation cars, such as fixed seating, door chimes and passenger address systems. They were originally fitted with a push-button feature, to enable passengers to open the doors manually, but this feature was short-lived. They retained the flat ends of the previous Goninan cars, but with the addition of a fibreglass moulded end piece which was originally white with orange and red stripes (the 'candy' State Rail livery). These ends were later painted grey with a lower yellow section which they retain to this day, and internally the standard grey livery and blue seat upholstery was applied.[8] These cars continue to operate in 2011 as C sets.

1988 Tangara Cars

A T set Tangara in current CityRail livery with yellow front.
A T set Tangara in current CityRail livery.
An Outer Suburban Tangara in original livery with orange squares below the driver's cab.
An Outer Suburban Tangara in original livery.

In 1988, the new generation train, called Tangara - an aboriginal word meaning "to go", was introduced. This train marked a radical departure from the previous double deck car design both in appearance and technically. The Tangara is the last publicly-funded electric rolling stock built for CityRail - all future electric trains are being built and operated under "Public-Private Partnership" (PPP) agreements. A total of 450 T set cars were introduced between 1988 and 1994, allowing the withdrawal of the remaining single deck suburban passenger cars in 1993.

Eighty G set cars featuring toilets, high-backed reversible seating and passenger door opening controls were built between 1994 and 1996. These generally operated on outer-suburban runs, typically to Wollongong, Springwood and Gosford, though they also sometimes operated in suburban service. These outer-suburban sets allowed the retirement of the last remaining single-deck "U Boats" in 1996. One set, G7, was experimentally fitted with dual-voltage A/C traction. This set was extensively damaged in a derailment in January 2003 near Waterfall, and the set was scrapped after completion of the coronial inquiry into the accident. The G sets have largely been replaced in their outer-suburban duties by the H sets with the G sets being cascaded down to suburban working.

In 2010 a refurbishment program began for all Tangaras, which were by then nearly 20 years old and showing signs of wear and tear. This work involved reupholstered seats, new flooring and handrails, relocated end saloon partitions and a complete internal repaint. Inter-car doors and and handrails are repainted sunflower yellow, and the interiors share common fittings with the Millennium and OSCAR cars. The former Outer-Suburban G sets are gradually being retargetted to T sets from T101 onwards and the cars recoded from OD, ON & ONL to the suburban D & N codings, retaining the same 58xx & 68xx number series. The former ONL cars have had their toilet and water cooler removed and replaced with longitudinal seating, but without the luggage racks found elsewhere in these cars.

2002 Millennium Cars

An M set at Central

From 2002, 140 "fourth generation" carriages were introduced, known as Millennium Trains or M sets. These trains allowed the withdrawal of the 1960s era Tulloch double deck trailer cars. As these trains are maintained by EDI Rail at a facility at Eveleigh, they are essentially captive on Sector 2 (Inner West, Bankstown, East Hills, Liverpool & Campbelltown) services.

While the Millennium trains are suitable for division into four-car sets, they are normally kept coupled as eight-cars sets at all times.

2011 Waratah Cars

The Waratah cars (also called A Sets and PPP sets) are a forthcoming, double-decker, air-conditioned train based on the Millennium train, the order being for 78 sets of eight cars per train. The body shells are being constructed in China and completed at Newcastle by a joint venture between the NSW Government, Downer EDI Rail, and various other companies under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) with delivery between 2011 and 2014. As of February 2011, a number of sets have been completed but technical issues have delayed their entry into service. The first set went into regular service on 1st July 2011 on the Macarthur/East Hills/Airport line. From 2012 they will begin to replace the L, R & S sets.

Inter-Urban Passenger cars

Electrification of the trunk railways out of Sydney began in the 1950s and required the introduction of electric passenger stock with toilets and increased levels of amenity.

Single deck Intercity cars (withdrawn)

Main article: U set

Preserved U set driving car.

The initial 80 electric interurban passenger cars (40 "CF" power cars 5001 - 5040, 20 "TF" trailer cars 6001 - 6020 and 20 "ETB" trailer cars 6021 - 6040) were introduced from 1958 to coincide with the electrification of the Blue Mountains Line to Bowenfels. These trains were similar in external appearance to the single deck steel suburban cars but were slightly narrower (for 2+2 across seating), built of unpainted stainless steel and corridor connectors between the cars. These trains carried a 'U' target plate, and became affectionately known as 'U Boats'. They featured First and Second Class accommodation until 1974, when they became "one class". First Class (in the ETB trailers) was identifiable by blue covered seats (as opposed to green seats in second class), carpet on the floor and ashtrays in the smoking section. Their operational sphere spread from Lithgow/ Bowenfels and Gosford to include Port Kembla, Dapto and Newcastle until their final demise in 1996. They have been used on many railfan tours since the 1960s, sometimes loco-hauled outside the electrified area. Three power cars and two trailer cars have been preserved by the Sydney Electric Train Society[9]. Other U-boat cars have been preserved privately, and many sold to private buyers for a variety of uses after withdrawal.

Double deck Inter Urban Cars

A V set Central Station in State Rail Authority 'Candy' livery.

Introduced from 1970, these new double deck interurban cars actually predated the first full suburban double deck sets. Described at the time as the 'most luxurious commuter stock in the world',[10] they set new benchmarks for passenger comfort in Sydney. Initial service was confined to the Main North Line until they were usable on the Blue Mountains Line after the Glenbrook tunnel was widened in 1975. They could proceed as far as Lithgow after the Lithgow tunnels were widened in 1979. Services began on the Illawarra line after electrification in 1985. Initially these sets carried 'U' target plates. The subsequent orders of double-deck cars carried 'V' plates to designate sets fitted with vacuum toilets. The original 1970 cars were not a success, and they were rebuilt into trailers to run with the later-series intercity cars in the early 1980s. These later cars can be identified by seating with plastic orange surrounds, and they lack a door between the passenger compartment and the small entry/exit area. The second series of the V-Sets (DCM/DM) will commence being phased out in early 2011, to be replaced by the Oscar. The rest of the V sets will begin to be phased out in 2021, with the replacement trains currently unknown.

OSCAR (Outer Suburban CAR)

H set

H sets (OSCARs, for Outer Suburban CARs), were launched on 24 April 2006. The H sets were principally built to replace the G set Tangaras on outer-suburban services and the original order of V sets. They feature identical reversible seating to the new Hunter railcars, and one disabled toilet per four-car set, whilst the end compartments feature longitudinal seating and ceiling hand-grips making them broadly similar in design to the G sets. They run to Wyong, Springwood and Kiama. Additional orders have been placed, and these new sets will lead to further replacement of some V sets. These cars are built by United Group Rail.

Diesel Suburban/ Interurban Passenger Trains

South Maitland Railways diesel railcars (withdrawn)

In 1961, 3 self propelled diesel railcars were introduced by the South Maitland Railway (SMR), a private railway in the Hunter Valley. These cars were built by Tulloch Limited of Rhodes, and were capable of running singly or in multiple-unit formation. Passenger capacity was for 80 people. Passenger service operated between Cessnock and Maitland, connecting with NSWGR services to Newcastle. Services operated until 1967, when SMR left the passenger rail business and the NSWGR assumed responsibility for a limited passenger service to Cessnock. The cars were sold and scrapped in 1976[11].

620/720 Class diesel rail motors

A 620/720 Class train in Newcastle

18 two-car self propelled diesel railcar sets were introduced between 1961 and 1968, constructed at the NSWGR workshops at Chullora. They were the final passenger railcars to be built by government workshops in NSW.[12] They were based on the 600/700 and 900/950 class cars and were built for Newcastle suburban and regional workings, although they saw service on Wollongong services pre electrification, and rural service to Cowra, Mudgee, Grafton and Murwillumbah[13]. Three sets were built with first and second class accommodation and were used for country services, the remainder were single-class only (originally designated second class). They have served the non- electrified and pre-electrified sections of the Sydney suburban and outer-suburban (interurban) passenger networks - they saw service on the Richmond Line until completion of electrification works in the 1990s. After the removal of many country services and the electrification of the Illawarra line in 1985 and the Richmond line in the 1990s, they saw service on the Far South Coast line and the Southern Highlands Line. At introduction, they were painted tuscan red. From the 1970s, some carried an Indian red livery. In 1980, some were painted in a reverse livery with yellow front ends. From 1982 the 'candy' livery of bright red, with orange, yellow and white trims was introduced system-wide and the 620/720 class were no exception. In the 1990s, they were repainted from 'candy' into a 'heritage' livery reminiscent of the former tuscan paint scheme, before adopting a grey and blue corporate CityRail livery in the 2000s. After the introduction of the Endeavour railcars in 1994, their numbers were reduced to 7 2-cars sets, and they were all withdrawn from service during 2007.

Several of these sets have been preserved, with 621/721 repainted into 1960s deep indian red livery with buff lining by the Rail Motor Society. This set has already seen use on enthusiast tours. At least one other set is under restoration to original external and internal condition.

Endeavour Railcars

An Endeavour set in original livery at Warabrook

28 Endeavour railcars were introduced from 1994 to operate the non-electrified CityRail lines to replace the ageing DEB railcars and some of the 620/720-class railcars. They currently operate on the Southern Highlands line, the Illawarra (South Coast) line between Kiama and Nowra, and the Hunter Valley lines. They previously operated weekend service on the Moss Vale- Unanderra line. They operate as two or four cars sets. Several cars were converted into Xplorers, which they are technically identical to, when the Illawarra line was electrified between Dapto and Kiama in 2002

Hunter Railcars

Hunter railcar at Victoria Street station

In 2006, 14 Hunter railcars were ordered to replace the now withdrawn 620/720-class railcars. They are a new type of diesel multiple unit use on the Hunter Valley lines centred on Newcastle. The New Hunter Railcars are currently being built by United Goninan and are sharing Newcastle to Maitland, Telarah & Dungog suburban services with Endeavour railcars. The design is derived from the new generation Transwa Prospector, except that the lower top speed requirement for the Hunter line means that the driving cars are each single-engined instead of dual-engined.

Country Passenger Trains

CPH (Tin Hare) Railmotors

CPH 12 railmotor at Wagga Wagga Railway Station

The CPH railmotors were introduced from 1923 to provide feeder service on country branch lines[14]. They operated many branch line services in the south of the state until their widespread withdrawal in 1974[15]. They also provided pre-electrification service on the Richmond line, late night Clyde - Carlingford shuttles, Sutherland - Waterfall on the Illawarra line and Pippita & State Abbatoirs line in suburban Sydney until they were officially withdrawn with the 27 November 1983 timetable. A handful of CPH rail motors worked Wollongong suburban services for some months afterwards. Many of these veteran rail motors are preserved and still operational.

Creamy Kate and Trailer (withdrawn)

Creamy Kate at Junee

After an accident at Bowning, in which several passenger cars were damaged, two underframes were salvaged. Around the two underframes, a two-engine railmotor and attendant trailer were constructed. The motor car was allocated number CHP38 and the trailer 81. It spent most of its days on branch lines out of Narrandera. Trailer 81 was ultimately rebuilt and renumbered FT551 and worked Sutherland to Waterfall shuttles with conventional CPH railmotors until electrification in July 1980[16].

Silver City Comet (withdrawn)

The Silver City Comet at Central, 1937

These self-propelled diesel passenger trains were introduced in 1937 and operated between Parkes and Broken Hill.[17] During World War 2, they were also used on some intercity runs from Sydney to Canberra & Newcastle. It was the first airconditioned train introduced into New South Wales.

When introduced, it was originally painted silver, to reflect the harsh heat of the western plains. After World War 2, Silver City Comet sets were repainted in standard NSWGR tuscan & russet, then Indian red liveries. Prior to the 50th anniversary of the Silver City Comet in 1987, it reverted to the original silver livery. The Silver City Comets were withdrawn in 1989.[18] The majority of the remaining Silver City Comet fleet has been preserved in static condition.

900/950 Class diesel rail motors (withdrawn)

Ten 600/700 class diesel rail motor sets were introduced from 1949 to operate country passenger branch lines, the first such service being from Dubbo to Coonamble[17]. From 1955 until 1990, air-conditioned 900 class trains, known as DEB sets, provided service to Canberra as the Canberra- Monaro Express, replacing the steam hauled Federal City Express[19]. The DEB sets were also used on some South Coast and Southern Highland commuter services until they were replaced by Endeavour railcars in 1994.


An XPT in current CountryLink livery.

The XPT (for Express passenger train) is the mainstay of the NSW Country passenger rail network. Modelled on the British HST and introduced from 1982, they currently provide service to Melbourne, Brisbane, Dubbo, Grafton and Casino. XPT consists can vary between five and seven cars depending on demand. When the XPT entered service it was painted in a red, yellow, black, grey and stainless steel livery. The initial impact of the XPT's striking livery provided the inspiration for the "candy-stripe" livery to be applied to SRA locomotives and the interurban & country passenger car fleet from 1982. The first CountryLink repaint was gradually introduced in 1991, and is being replaced by a new CountryLink livery since 2008. Class leader XP2000 has appeared in a number of special liveries for Sydney 2000 Games and the 2001 Centenary of Federation. In the early 1990s, XAM Sleeping cars were added to the interstate XPT consists after protests arising from the cancellation of the loco-hauled sitting & sleeping car trains "Brisbane Limited" and "Pacific Coast MotoRail" in 1990.


An Xplorer in original CountryLink livery.

The Xplorer is a diesel self propelled multiple unit train, introduced from 1993. They provide services to Canberra, Griffith, Moree, Armidale and Broken Hill. They are technically and mechanically similar to CityRail's Endeavour railcars, but with a buffet service and a higher standard of accommodation.


Letters of passenger vehicles often have the following meanings:

  • A = sleeping
  • B = first
  • C = composite (first and second)
  • F = second
  • H = guard/brakevan
  • L = lavatory
  • P = power
  • R = restaurant
  • HPF= guard plus power plus second, a compound code.

Electric vehicles use the following letters:

  • C = control-motor
  • T = trailer
  • N = non-control-motor
  • D = driving trailer

Suburban EMU carriages use one letter codes.

Interurban EMU carriages use two or more codes.

  • D = Double deck.
  • DCM, DIM, DJM, DKM = Double Deck Motor Car (middle letter indicates car model)
  • DCT, DIT, DKT = Double Deck Trailer (middle letter indicates car model)

Vehicles in a set often share a letter.

See also


  1. ^ Survey of Sydney Electric Trains, 1926–1960, Part 1. Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin, March 2001
  2. ^ The Sputnik Cars SETS Library
  3. ^ Survey of Sydney Electric Trains, 1926-1960, Part 2. Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin, May 2001
  4. ^ The Double-Deck Suburban Cars Singleton, C.C. Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin, June, 1964 pp101-106
  5. ^ New Double Deck Suburban Electric Power Cars Calf, H.R. Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin, April, 1969 pp87-91
  6. ^ Sydney's First Double Deck Train Moss, Geoff Australian Railway History, December, 2007 pp451-459
  7. ^ a b Sydney Suburban Fleet, Part 2. Railway Digest, July 2002
  8. ^ a b Sydney Suburban Fleet, Part 3. Railway Digest, Sept 2002
  9. ^ "Single Deck InterUrban cars". SETS. http://www.sets.org.au/fleet/index.php?id=sdic. 
  10. ^ NSW Double-Deck Interurbans Turn 30, Railway Digest, June 2000
  11. ^ Driver, R When diesels came to the South Maitland Railways. Australian Railway History, April, 2007
  12. ^ Eade, W. 620/720: The Great Survivors. Railway Digest, November 2003
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  14. ^ "Cooma- Monaro Railway". Cooma- Monaro Railway. http://www.cmrailway.org.au/rolling.htm. Retrieved 5 May 2007. 
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