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Saturday, August 1, 2009

Rollingstock History of the Privateers Part I

The first of the 'privateers' carriages, BAM1748, began as a result of its owner's inspiration after a visit to the US in the late 90's.

During this trip, the owner had visited several of the American Association of Private Railcar Carriage Owners members' and their respective own private cars (and even travelled on a couple) and thought, why cant this occur in Australia? - there are several items of rollingstock and there are a few groups who can run such carriages too...

So loaded with lots of good ideas, an offer was made for the carriage BAM1748 from the ARHS-ACT, which was accepted and work commenced.

Historically, BAM1748 started its life as a N class open plan situp car for the NSWGR in the 1940's. During the 1970's in an attempt to modernise the fleet and provide more sleeping berths on Mail Trains, 6 of the N class sit up cars were selected for conversion to a basic twinette sleeping car. There were six BAM sleeping cars in total (Road numbers 1738, 1741, 1743, 1745, 1748, 2189). For more information on the basics of these cars see:-

BAM1748 (as were all the BAMs, except 1745) was acquired by the ARHS in the late 1980's following cessation of the NSW Mail Train services. 1748 never entered service with the ARHS, and had sat on 'rotten row' for sometime prior to its owner commencing restoration works on it. During this period, the vehicle continued to deteriorate from water damage and provided a home for Kingston based pigeons too.

Over the period of nearly three years, its owner had undertaken a restoration program to get the vehicle back into operation. The vehicle has been re-roofed, and five of the seven sleeping berths restored to original condition for overnight accomodation. The other two sleeping berths, one of the shower cubicles and the conducters compartment have all been removed and modified to accomodate a lounge area that can comfortably accomodate 12 people. For those that remember the TV shot Hot Property on the seven network - the restoration of this car was given its own segment on one episode back a few years ago!

Future works on this car including fitting of 415v bylines to re-active a hot water service (the former gas system has been removed), and also enable the 240v power points to be activated for use by passengers (such as to charge phones, run laptops etc etc). The fitting of power lines will also enable airconditioning to be installed that will provide greater comfort for the travelling passengers.

To avoid duplication, pictures of this car (both internal and external) are included in trip reports to be posted.

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