1966 - 1967
The Southern Aurora was an overnight sleeping train that ran between Melbourne and Sydney. It was introduced in 1962 when the VR standard gauge line was opened between Melbourne and the NSW border at Albury. The short TC cars bore little resemblance to the prototype carriages, which were a stainless steel Budd design, similar to the 2nd series Tri-ang TC cars.
Illustration of the Southern Aurora R26 used in the 1966 - 67 Australian Catalogues.
R26 Coach – Southern Aurora. Early version with seat insert.
R26 Coach – Southern Aurora. Later version with no interior.
R26 Coach – Southern Aurora. Buffet car version with Pullman interior.
models were used in the 1966 – 67 R4W set with the unlettered version of the
Australian R55. The sets had three R26 coaches, including one buffet car
sets had two coaches fitted with seating units. Later sets had the seating
deleted, presumably when someone pointed out that the Southern Aurora was a
sleeper train and had no sitting carriages.
The buffet interior was not fitted with the red table lamps fitted to
earlier Australian buffet car models.
Some later models can be found with silver painted roofs. These are blue mouldings from the blue and yellow R26 and were possibly used when the silver roof mouldings ran out towards the end of production in 1967.
Information and photographs Graeme Brown