Spirit of Progress Cars

In 1937 the Victorian Railways started an express service between Melbourne and Albury. This train then connected with a train to Sydney.

The train was air conditioned and built of all steel cars. The locomotives were given streamlined cladding and the trains sets painted royal blue with yellow striping.

The first cars for the service were not classed, but simply numbered or described.

The First Class cars were known as 'AE Steel cars' with numbers 1 - 5.

The Second Class cars were known as 'BE Steel cars' with numbers 6 - 9.

There was also a Parlour Car, a Dining Car, a 'Steel CE van' and a 'Steel Mail van'.

The cars were auto coupled and featured full width diaphragms between the cars. The Parlour car was a 'beaver tail' type. The train had to be turned at each end. At Wodonga a triangle was installed between Wodonga Coal Siding, Wodonga and the branch line to Bandianna. One leg was converted to standard gauge in 1962. At the Melbourne end, a loop was built that passed around the North Melbourne Car and Wagon Workshops. This loop is still in existence.

With the introduction of more carriages in 1939, the existing carriages for the train were given class letters and renumbered. Cars 1 - 5 became _AS_ 1 - 5, Cars 6 - 9 became _BS_ 1 - 4, the 'Steel CE van' became _CS_ 1 and the 'Steel Mail van' became _DS_ 1.

Named cars within this group are:

   Club Car
   Dining Car
   Lounge Car
   Parlour Car

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File c547m compiled by Peter J. Vincent, updated 3/3/2008