Information on 1939 era 56' carriage A1947 rebuilt as large window car.

  • Running number:A1947 (TMS AO83)
  • Designed by:New Zealand Railways
  • Built at:NZR Otahuhu workshops
  • Date built: 1939
  • Builders diagram:
  • Date entered service:
  • Date withdrawn:Disposed of by KiwiRail 2018
  • Current condition:Stored complete by Steam Inc.
AO83 on Overlander service.

Image: AO83 on Overlander service.

Carriage details

  • Weight in working order: 25 tonnes
  • Overall Length: 17933mm
  • Bogies (current): 28020


Built in 1939 at Otahuhu as a standard 56’ second class car and allocated to Wellington for use on the Auckland – Wellington express trains.

In 1941 converted to a 20 berth ambulance car.  In 1952 rebuilt into a “new look” 2nd class car and also used as a relief 1st class car.

Had a major makeover in 1972 for use on the new “Endeavour” train service between Wellington and Napier.

AO83 Arthurs Pass

AO83 on Arthurs Pass turntable during a special promotional run.21st August 1991. Photo: Glen Anthony

AO83 used on Pacifica charter to Arhurs Pass

AO83 being used on a special charter for Pacifica Shipping. 11th Sept 1991:. Photo: Glen Anthony

In 1991 was rebuilt at Hutt workshops to current configuration with the large windows and a rear observation window for use initialy on the Christchurch to Greymouth Tranz Alpine  It only saw limited use on the Tranz Alpine with the first use thought to be 3rd Sept 1991.  Then only two days a week increasing to three days until its last run on the TranzAlpine being 28th Nov 1991. AO83 was then allocated to the North Island for use on the Overlander/Northerner services between Auckland and Wellington. When the Overlander was displaced by the new Northern Explorer AO83 ended up in the Auckland charter fleet about 2014. When the AO fleet was withdrawn from service by KiwiRail it went into long term storage at Middlemarch. AO83 was purchased from KiwiRail in May 2018 and arrived at Paekakariki by rail from Middlemarch in Sept 2018. The eventual plan is to install additional tables and use as a VIP car.

AO83 Auckland Jan 1992

AO83 on Overlander/Notherner service at Auckland. Jan 1992

AO83 Auckland

Observation Car AO83 Auckland Station Jan 1992

Thanks to the New Zealand Railway Observer, NZ Rails magazine, Linesider magazine, Glen Anthony and John Bovis for the information.

Overlander observation carriage

AO83 observation end

AO83 Overlander

AO83 on the Overlander at Te Kuiti. March 2010.

AO83 on Overlander

AO83 on the rear of the Overlander passing thru Paekakariki Dec 2010

AO83 Middlemarch storage

AO83 in storage at Middlemarch. October 2015.



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