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  • Date withdrawn:Disposed of by KiwiRail 2008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.
A1953 after refurbishment at Paekakariki. July 2012

Image: A1953 after refurbishment at Paekakariki. July 2012

Carriage details

  • Weight in working order: 25 tonnes
  • Overall Length: 17933mm
  • Bogies: 25330


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.

A56544 in CityRail livery.  Auckland 1992.

A1953 as A56544 in CityRail livery. Auckland 1992.

A56544 branded for Auckland CityRail service.

A56544 branded for Auckland CityRail service during a visit to Wellington.

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. A1953 was added to our active main line fleet late in December 2012. 

A1953 Paekakariki

A1953 at Steam Inc Paekakariki in 2012

Thanks to Juliet Scoble and John Bovis for the information in these notes.

A1953 interior

Interior of carriage A1953


Excursion train carriage

A1953 (A56544) at Otahuhu Tranz Scenic Depot Oct 2008.

A1953 Otahuhu

A1953 at Otahuhu Oct 2008.


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