The sleeping and 1st class sitting cars were constructed at Newport Workshops, Victoria, as well as the mail sorting and some baggage vans, while the 2nd class sitting cars and baggage vans were constructed at Islington Workshops, South Australia, (except that the first 2 jointly owned brakevans were constructed at Newport and exchanged with two constructed at Islington, these latter two became Victorian vehicles).
The original classification system was simplified in 1910, with
All cars built between 1906 and 1908 originally had gas lighting with electric lighting not being fitted until later. The remainder where constructed with electric lighting.
Automatic couplers fitted to all vehicles in mid 1930's.
The name The Overland was given to the express in 1936 when it was named in the timetable, though it appears that Victoria might have been using this name for the train sometime before this date. In 1936 the original deep red livery was replaced by green and yellow with black horizontal lining for the Centenary of South Australia. The Overland in chrome plate letters was affixed to the letter board on each side of the passenger carrying cars. In the mid 1940s all cars were gradually repainted in Victorian Railways red livery. The chrome The Overland insignia was removed from the sleeping cars in 1967.
The "CE" and "D" vans had partial external steel protection panels.
Exteriors were built to the then contemporary Canadian Pacific Design with modifications to suit local conditions. On account of their great width, it was deemed wise to fit tight spring steel bars across the windows as a protection to the passengers. These were later removed because of a public outcry.
The cars were phased out gradually with the introduction of the air conditioned "Corten Steel" carriages from 1949. Eventually the various cars were split between the two states and used on less significant services until being withdrawn.
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