South Australia Railway D type CarriagesComrails Logo

South Australia Railway D type Carriages

General Information

Nine air-conditioned sitting cars were constructed at Islington in 1964 to provide accomodation on the Adelaide to Port Pirie trains, including the East-West Express. The original order was to consist of 2 First class, 4 Second class and 3 composite, but the 3 composite class car eventually became additional first class accomodation. Designed to provide two trains sets of four cars, with one composite vehicle as a stand-by for peak traffic and maintenance purposes.

The cars are similar in external appearance to the Joint Stock V&SAR "AJ" and "BJ" class sitting cars used on The Overland, with stainless steel fluting along the side panels, the interior layout and other equipment was altered to meet local operating conditions within South Australia. A common body sideframe applied to the "D" type cars, resulting in window openings of 4 feet 8 3/8 inch clear vision and seat centres of 3 feet 5½ inch in both first and second class vehicles. This was the first time in the SAR's history that broad gauge cars for both classes of travel has been designed to carry the same number of passengers, the only difference being in the quality and colour of the seat and floor coverings.

The first and second class cars each carry 70 passengers and the composite cars 68 (32 first class and 36 second class), all in rotating and reclining seats in pairs on either side of the centre aisle. The saloon of the cars is divided into 2 sections with full height partitions on either side of the aisle. This gives a smoking compartment for 34 passengers and a non-smoking section for 36. All cars have a full width vestibule at one end only with stable side doors and a swing door leading to the saloon. Vestibule connections are provided between cars. Ground loading steps with lift-up flaps for high level loading were fitted.

Ladies toilet and power rooms are located at the vestibule end, on either side of the aisle. A full height cupboard accessible from the ladies toilet room, contains air-conditioning equipment and an electrical control panel.

The standard type cambolet as used on the Overland cars is fitted in the toilet rooms. A gents toilet room is provided at the opposite end of the first and second class cars. Both gents and ladies toilets are located at both ends of the composite cars to serve both classes of accomodation. There is no ladies powder room in these cars and the total seating is reduced from 70 to 68. A 2 foot wide door separates the first and second class sections of the saloon in the composite cars, the former at the non-vestibule end.

To provide greater flexibility in operation, each car can operate independently. An auxiliary diesel engine driving an AC alternator is installed under each car to provide power for lighting and air conditioning. All cars are mounted on two four wheeled bogies of 8 foot wheelbase with 53 foot bogie centres. Length over headstocks is 75 foot.

Classification System

ADFirst class car
BDSecond class car
CDGuard and Baggage storage car

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