Commonwealth Railways stainless steel carriage stock

Stock on The Ghan approaching Alice Springs in July 2015

In July 1965 Commonwealth Railways placed an order with Commonwealth Engineering, Granville for eight 22.92-metre (75 ft 2 in) air-conditioned stainless steel sleeping carriages and one dining carriage for use on the Trans Australian.[1][2] The first was delivered in July 1966.[3]

The carriages were built to a slightly narrower loading gauge than existing stock to allow their operation on other systems as a precursor to the commencement of transcontinental services. In May 1967 Commonwealth Railways placed an order for a further 59 carriages in various configurations for use on the Indian Pacific. Further orders saw the fleet total 124.[4]

Of these 60 were jointly owned by the New South Wales Government Railways, Commonwealth Railways and the Western Australian Government Railways for the Indian Pacific and the balance by the Commonwealth Railways for the Trans-Australian. In practice they were used interchangeably.[4]

Since 1980 the stock has been used on The Ghan from Adelaide to Alice Springs. From November 1983 until November 1987 they were used on The Alice from Sydney to Alice Springs. More recently they have been used on The Overland from Adelaide to Melbourne and The Southern Spirit.

In July 1975 all were included in the transfer of Commonwealth Railways to Australian National and in October 1997 to Great Southern Rail.


  1. BRG Class Second Class Sleeping Car Chris' Commonwealth Railways Pages
  2. DE Dining Car Chris Commonwealth Railways Pages
  3. Dunn, John (2010). Comeng A History of Commonwealth Engineering Volume 3 1966-1977. Rosenberg Publishing. pp. 16–35. ISBN 9781877058905.
  4. 1 2 "Carriage Review" Railway Digest November 1986 page 351
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