Information on 1943 era 56' carriage A1989.
- Running number:A1989 (TMS was 56769)
- Designed by:New Zealand Railways
- Built at:NZR Addington workshops
- Date built:1943
- Builders diagram:25480
- Date entered service:April 1943
- Date withdrawn:Sold by Tranz Rail 1996
- Returned to heritage operation:2003
- Current condition:Certified for main line running.
- Weight in working order: 25 tonnes
- Overall Length: 17933mm
A1989 was completed in April 1943. The car was built to BP 25480 as a standard 2nd class car of the period being 56ft long and having one passenger compartment with 56 seats, two toilets, steam heating and electric lighting. Running gear included roller bearings and automatic Alliance couplers.
A 1938 copy of "The Railway Gazette" had the following comments on the interior of these 2nd class cars: Brown Rexine has been used in the finish of the interior walls, and, as mouldings have been reduced to a minimum, the cars will more easily be kept clean. The lower part of the ceiling, immediately behind the luggage racks, is covered with mottled brown rubber, to protect the ceiling from damage by luggage, and the arch of the ceiling is covered with white Rexine. The chairs, which are placed four abreast with a central gangway, are of the standard Scarrett type, the seats being fitted with Dunlopillo units and the backs padded with Hairlock. The whole chair is covered with Antique red leather.
When built A1989 was assigned to Christchurch for use on the SIMT and branches. In the 1970's was used on the Lyttleton boat train. The last boat train from Christchurch to Lyttleton wharf ran on the 14th September 1976 to connect with the final sailing of the Inter-island Steamer Express "Rangatira". A1989 was hauled to Auckland in January 1977 and then used on Auckland suburban trains.
Modifications carried out at Otahuhu Workshops in December 1979 resulted in A1989 being reduced to suburban status. This involved the removal of the vestibule ends, modifications to the gangway support plates, removal of the toilets, increasing the seats from 56 to 62, and probably at the same time replacing the windows with the current supa vent style, and some new interior lining. When built the tare weight was 27ton 17cwt (28297Kg). This conversion to a suburban car and removal of the steam heating resulted in a new tare weight of 24120 Kg.
Purchased from Tranz Rail in early 1996, A1989 arrived at Paekakariki in March 1996. A major restoration project commenced in late 2002 and resulted in the car entering mainline excursion service in Feb 2003.