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On a recent trip to Tailem Bend to see the Railway Museum and obtain photos of railway infrastructure, I was able to see these railway carriages that are slowly rusting away in the weather. Although as one wit remarked, at least the graffiti will help deter further rust.
It was rather sad. The heritage carriages (some of which are nearly 70 years old) are arranged around a fenced turntable area. This is located within a large private rail yard, but unfortunately police can't patrol it all the time.
The Director of Australian Locomotive & Railway Carriage Company gave me permission to view the carriages, and after seeing them it was disappointing to think how the initial dream of heritage tourism trains failed.
Excursion car BK 714 was built in Islington SA in 1941 and converted to First Class in 1947. Prior to Tailem Bend it was operated by West Coast Railway, and has an attractive polished wood panelled interior with plushly upholstered seats.
Another carriage with quite a history is VRS232, which entered service in 1938. It seated 27 diners at a counter running the full length of the car, and operated in Victoria and NSW before coming to SA.
While all of these carriages have given lengthy service, their future today remains uncertain. Unless a rail enthusiast or an entrepreneur buys them they may well end up as scrap.
The National Railway Museum which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year already has a 900 class locomotive, so is unlikely to want more.
In the meantime, they are a sad reminder of Tailem Bend's once proud railway history.
Very depressing site seeing all that heritage rolling stock just sitting there going to waste/rustting away/getting damaged & graffitied,like they are. begs the question if everyone/someone know about them been there why for isn't anyone doing anything so as too save these pieces of heritage rolling stock before its to late!