Originally a suburban carriage. In the future a club car
- Running number:Aa1670
- Designed by:New Zealand Railways
- Built at:NZR Otahuhu workshops
- Date built:1930
- Builders diagram:4440 & 25019
- Date withdrawn:October 1972
- Current condition: August 2023 in very early stages of resoration.
Image: Aa1670 at Forest Lakes Camp
- Weight in working order: 20 tonnes
- Overall length: 52 feet 6 inches
Aa1670 is the latest addition to the Steam Incorporated fleet.
When originally built, it was one of a batch of fifteen vehicles that were to all be suburban carriages built at Otahuhu between 1929 & 1930. Unlike all of our other 50’ wide bodied open platform cars which were built for main trunk use, 1670 was built solely for suburban use. This meant no toilet or steam heating were fitted. Simpler windows without quarter lights were used. Being built in 1930, much later than her sister cars that we have 1670 was built with electric lighting. Her older sisters were all built with gas lighting and converted to electric much later.
Shortly after being built in 1931-33 the vehicle was clad with “vitron” panels. These were enamelled iron panels imported from England. They were fitted over the existing wood sheathing. It was considered these panels would not corrode on the inside as did unenamelled iron. Ordinary iron panels required cars to be out of service for several days to remove dents. If Vitron panels were damaged they could be by spares in a matter of hours at a Car & Wagon Depot.
In late 1945 because of issues with the Vitron panels they were removed and replaced with Aluminium panels. In the process the badly decayed wooden sheathing and bottom side rails etc. were renewed.
AA1670 was always allocated to Wellington for use on suburban trains. In 1936 she was reported being used on services to Upper Hutt and in 1962 trains to Taita.
In Jan 1972 1670 was nominally withdrawn from use However was kept for potential use on the Friday evening Fields Express that ran to Palmerston North, train 640. It was one of a group of cars that were needed to cope with suburban loadings as far as Paekakariki. At Paekakariki these cars were detached from the train and returned to Wellington on a goods train.
In May 1972 1670 was shown as being stored. It was eventually written off at Hutt in October 1972 and was transferred to the Forest Lakes Camp north of Otaki. At the camp the car was used as an activities room. When it became surplus the Forest Lakes Camp dontated the car to Steam Incorporated
On 25th November 2022 it moved from the Forest Lakes Camp by road to the Steam Incorporated Paekakariki Depot.
Along with extensive underframe and body repair work the restoration will include replacing the original continuous rod and coil spring drawgear with with more modern Janney Yoke drawgear with rubber spring packs, and replacing the plain bearing bogies with refurbished 2140 roller bearing bogies.
It is hoped to clad the car with metal panels to represent the earlier Vitron panels. The interior of the car is intended to be fitted out as a club car.
Thanks to Juliet Scoble for the research notes.