EMRC paid a visit to the Seymour Rail Heritage Centre.
Several members and families made a visit to the Seymour Rail Heritage Centre on Saturday 30 May 2009. We were given an extensive and informative guided tour over the facilities for approximately two hours by SRHC Member Geoff Burgoyne. There were many examples of Victorian diesel locomotives and rolling stock to inspect. Most were in immaculate condition and kept under cover.
Yarra Parlour Car
Yarra Parlour Car, brass fan located in the entrance lounge. Note the copper fan blade guard; not intended to keep fingers out as the fans were mounted near the ceiling of the carriage; the guards were more likely needed to keep larger objects from hitting the blade. The beautiful colours and workmanship of the woodwork show up well in this photo. Yarra Parlor Car, luxury seating. This is the boarding passenger’s first view of the Yarra Parlour Car.
Built in Newport Workshops in 1906, Yarra and her sister car, Murray, saw service on the Sydney Express (later named the Sydney Limited) between Melbourne and Albury. Having a premium car on an important train mirrored the American Railroad practice at the time. The parlour car was available to First Class passengers upon payment of a surcharge. At Albury their luggage was transferred to and from the connecting Sydney train.
The Parlour Cars operated until the Spirit of Progress took over the Albury service in 1937. It too featured a parlour car but of a more modern design. Murray became a classroom at the North Melbourne Locomotive Depot and was later broken up. Yarra survived as a special occasion carriage. It was later saved for preservation thanks to the tenacity of the Australian Railway Historical Society (Victorian Division).
Yarra Parlour Car Features
Yarra has a wooden body in the style of the 71ft E carriages but it has a different window configuration. The ornate light pendants were originally gas lamps. The internal layout is as follows:
- Gentleman’s WC and hand basin
- Smoking Room
- Conductor’s compartment (where refreshments were served)
- Ladies’ Toilet, complete with marble wash basin
- Ladies’ compartment
- Special compartment, for use by VIP’s, family groups etc.
- Observation Room, (which originally had loose chairs)
- Semi-enclosed Observation Platform
Reference: Yarra Parlor Car flyer. (2009). (pp. 1). Seymour, VIC: Seymour Railway Heritage Centre.
“Norman” entered service in 1937 as an air conditioned parlor car on the Spirit of Progress. It had a rounded observation lounge at one end and was painted Royal Blue with a gold leaf band above and below the windows. In 1956 it was transferred to the Intercapital Daylight for use as a lounge car. It was rebuilt as mini buffet and club car for use on the Intercapital Daylight in 1958. Given the name “Norman” in 1962 when its interior was completely rebuilt, losing the two luggage doors associated with the conductors compartment and a door, with diaphragm was cut into the observation end. The kitchen was enlarged and the toilet area fitted with a shower.
Its first outing was on 6.4.1963. It was intended to be used as a lounge car, club car and VIP car for royalty and vice royalty. It was again rebuilt in 1985 as a mobile venue for business or social uses, including conferences and seminars or group travel to sporting fixtures. The ride in it was smoothed by putting in lateral dampers to stabilise the sideways sway. Exterior livery of blue with a gold stripe above and below window line. The car has interior fittings of polished woodwork, quality wooden tables, curtains and carpets, and red upholstered chairs to match the liquor bar.
The car was fully equipped with a modern kitchen to cater for anything from morning tea to a five-course, sit down dinner. “Norman” (1985 style) carried up to 30 passengers for a hiring fee of, usually, about $800 – $1000 plus catering charges. In 1988 the diaphragm was removed and the car re-painted in grey and off white, with narrow orange and green lines above the window.
The Observation Room of the Norman Car. A notable part of the Spirit of Progress consist, the Norman car originally had a completely round end. Later an end doorway was added. Eventually this doorway will be removed to restore the original look of the Norman car. Moving clockwise from the left; we have Paul, Andrew, John, Don, Kyle and Hannah enjoying a space that was once for only the railway commissioners. Drymalik, C. (1998-2009). Norman No.2 – Parlor Car [Electronic Version]. Chris’ Commonwealth Railways Pages. Retrieved 18-Jun-2009 from http://comrails.railpage.org.au/sar_carriages/n_norman_2.html (now offline).
T Class locomotive
The Victorian Railways T class diesel electric locomotive are a small branch line and shunting unit built by Clyde Engineering (now EDI Rail). They were the most numerous class of diesel locomotives in the state. Flat tops: T 320 – T 346 & 413 (first order). Based upon an EMD export locomotive design, this order had a low cab and roof. T413 was built for use on the private 3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) Fyansford Cement Works Railwaynear Geelong, but was later sold to the VR. Wikipedia. (2009). Victorian Railways T class (diesel) [Electronic Version]. Retrieved 18-Jun-2009 from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Victorian_Railways_T_class_(diesel)