In 1945 as part of the WAGR rehabilitation program after WW2, a new set of six suburban cars including 4 AY’s and two AYB’s (#456 – 457) were built. Another set was built in 1946 including 2 AYB’s (458 & 459) and 2 AY cars. The AYB’s were basically an AY with a guards compartment at one end. They were built on steel underframes with matchboard sides and entered service in a larch green, light green & cream livery and able to accommodate 64 passengers, ably supplementing the ageing fleet of sidedoor/dogbox style cars predominantly in use on the suburban network.
In October 1951 the WAGR chose to introduce a new standard livery for carriage stock, replacing indian red and two tone green and cream schemes, with an "All Over" larch green. In 1952 AYB's 456 & 457 were outshopped in the new Green livery with 458 & 459 following in 1955, During 1956 another livery of White, Green and red stripe had been applied to the railcars, becoming the standard "Suburban" livery. In 1963 this livery was applied to AYB 459 with 456 & 457 repainted in 1966 & 1967. AYB 458 is thought to have retained Green till as late as 1970 by which time both 456 & 457 had been written off in 1969. Modernisation also took place during the 60's with some of the cars losing their matchboard sides, crown light windows and ornate panel work above the windows, these niceties being replaced with plywood panelling in various stages, which for modelling purposes, requires some research by the modeller.
In 1970's, AYB's 458 & 459 continued into Westrail service with refurbishment and Orange and Blue stripe livery. 1986 saw another refurbishment and a Green and Cream livery which saw them through till January 1991 when they were replaced by electric railcars. These two cars made it to preservation, in use until recently on the Pemberton Tramway.
The pictures here, show the prototype model for the AYB Suburban Brake Car “Body” kit which is now available from WestOz Models. This AYB "Body" kit is produced in polyurethane and comes with a aluminum roof. All other parts are available from Railwest Models.
Prototype information complied from “A History of WAGR Passengers Carriages” by A. May and B. Gray