Information on 1939 era 56' carriage A1953.
- Running number:A1953 (TMS was 56544)
- Designed by:New Zealand Railways
- Built at:NZR Addington workshops
- Date built: 1939
- Builders diagram:
- Date entered service:
- Date withdrawn:Disposed of by KiwiRail 2008
- Current condition:Certified for running on the main line.
Image: A1953 after refurbishment.
- Weight in working order: 25 tonnes
- Overall Length: 17933mm
A1953 was completed in May 1939. The car was built as a 2nd class car of the period being 56ft long and having one passenger compartment with 59 seats, one toilet, steam heating and electric lighting. Running gear included roller bearings and automatic Alliance couplers. It was one of a batch of 22 cars built at Addington between 1939 and 1940 that were all 59 seat cars. All of these cars had an extra toilet compartment fitted between 1941 and 1943 giving them the standard 56 seat configuration. In 1956 an interior refurbishment included red leather seat coverings.
When built A1953 was assigned to Invercargill for use on the SIMT and branches. In 1965 the car was assigned to Dunedin suburban services. With the withdrawal of steam locomotives and "steam heating" two Skope electric heaters were fitted in 1969. This reduced the seating to 52. By the end of 1979 A1953 was surplus in Dunedin having been used on Dunedin - Port Chambers services that had been cancelled. A1953 was then transferred to Wellington and had the electric heaters removed at Addington Workshops on the way up. Between March 1980 and early 1983, A1953 was used on Wellington suburban trains. April 1983 saw the car transferred for Auckland for Auckland suburban use, but retained its two toilets for excursion train use. The "Cityrail" stripe and logo were applied.
With the phasing out of the subbie carriage trains in Auckland A1953 was assigned to the Auckland "charter fleet". It was painted in the original blue colour. In December 2006 A1953 along with 3 other charter cars was transferred to Wellington to help out on the Masterton- Wellington services while the new SW cars were being introduced. It returned to Auckland at the end of 2007. A1953 arrived at Paekakariki by rail from Auckland on 18th November 2008. It is hoped to add this vehicle to our active main line fleet late in 2010.
Thanks to Juliet Scoble for some of the information in these notes.