Friday, April 13, 2012

AY / AYL Carriages

In 1924, the WAGR built a new type of Second Class Suburban Car at the Midland Workshops. AY 26 was 59’ long with an open saloon arrangement and could seat 82 passengers with access to the car via three sets of sliding doors on each side of the car. Due to the popularity of this car another two were built (28 & 29) to the same pattern in 1927. In 1928 AY 26 was converted into a lounge car and fitted with corridor access for use on RESO trains retaining the AY classification. In 1938, #28 & 29 were also converted to lounge cars for use on the new Westland Express service.
In 1942 the WAGR supplied an Ambulance train to the Commonwealth Government and all 3 AY lounge cars were included. The seats were removed and they were converted to Ambulance Ward Cars, painted white all over with red crosses on the sides and roofs.

In 1945 a new set of six suburban cars including 4 AY’s (#452 – 455) and two AYB’s were built. In 1946 another 2 AY cars (#460 & 461) and 2 AYB cars were built supplementing the ageing fleet of sidedoor/dogbox style cars predominantly in use on the suburban network.
AY 452 is seen here below modelled in the "All over Green" livery

After use during WW2 as Ambulance cars for the Commonwealth, AY’s 28 & 29 returned to WAGR service in 1946, being reclassified AYL and converted back to use as lounge cars seeing use on "Westland" and "Kalgoorlie" services. AY 26 was returned to service as a AYL in 1947 joining its sister cars on the expresses, but with the conversion of AV 314 in 1958 into an AYL, AY 26 was once again converted back to its AY suburban configuration.

After 1962 the remaining AYL lounge cars were much modified with the onset of the modernisation program seeing the matchboard sides being replaced with plywood panelling including covering/filling in over the door areas. The AY suburban cars also received the plywood panelling treatment during workshop visits when their time came due.

The AYL cars saw use on the “Westland” until 1969 and “Kalgoorlie” services till 1971 when “Standard Gauge” services commenced and they were no longer required. Some use of the AYL cars were made on Shopper, Bunbury Belle and Tour/charter trains until being written off in 1975. The above picture of AYL 29 shows the livery it carried in 1962

The AY suburban cars were used on loco hauled sets until 1991, being displaced by new Electric railcars.

The above pictures show the prototype models for the AY Second Class Suburban Car and AYL Lounge Car “Body” kits which are now available from WestOz Models. The Kit parts seen here above, are formed from patterns produced by Brian Norris . WestOz Models has produced this AY "Body" kit in polyurethane and comes with a aluminum roof - AYL kits have Concertinas included. All other parts are available from Railwest Models

Information complied from “A History of WAGR Passengers Carriages” by A. May and B. Gray

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