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Single Deck Interurban Cars

   
 
CF 5003

NSW Uset motor car CF 5003 leads set U5 at Springwood during the last months of U-set operation on the Blue Mountains, in late 1994/early 1995. Photograph by Stephen Miller.

Summary
These multiple-unit electric carriages were built by Commonwealth Engineering in N.S.W., using Metropolitan-Vickers electrical equipment from Britain, for the New South Wales Government Railways. They were delivered between June 1958 and March 1960 and entered regular service from 15th September 1958. They had operational lives of up to 38 years before final retirement in November 1996. 12 motor cars and 21 trailer cars have been preserved.

Background
The introduction of these electric trains was originally part of the NSW Department of Railways Blue Mountains electrification scheme. This was commenced in 1949, to electrify from Parramatta (then the limit of electrification) to Wallerawang - located 170 km west of Sydney. The extent of the scheme was based on coal traffic projections from new open-cut coal mines planned at Wallerawang, but when the traffic growth was found to be less than expected, the electrification was curtailed at Bowenfels, on the outskirts of Lithgow.

Tenders for construction of the interurban cars were called in 1952. The tender originally specified 70 motor cars, 35 trailer cars and 35 buffet-trailer cars of painted steel construction. However as the electrification scheme was reduced, a revised tender was issued for 40 motor cars, 20 trailer cars and 20 buffet-trailer cars. The original plan was for half the motor cars to be first class and half second class, with the trailer and buffet-trailer cars both second class. The motor cars would seat 52 passengers, the trailer cars 64 passengers and the buffet-trailer cars 28 passengers, with an additional 18 cafeteria stools. The carriages would have openable windows, with electric heating for winter operation on the mountains. Each car would have two lavatories and an iced water dispenser (via ice box). There would be an American-style counter "diner" cafeteria in every four-car set.

The contract for construction of the 80 cars was awarded to Commonwealth Engineering of Granville NSW in 1954. In their tender Commonwealth Engineering had offered the option of unpainted stainless steel construction using the Budd patent system, in lieu of the painted mild steel specified. The advantages suggested included lighter weight (improving train acceleration), savings in maintenance costs and longer life for the stainless construction. The Department of Railways selected the stainless steel option.

Following the announcement of a ten-year 200 million pound capital investment program in the 1955 Department of Railways Annual Report, the State Government commissioned a firm of American consultants to independently report on the finances, utilisation and modernisation of the NSW Government Railways. One of the recommendations from Ebasco Services Incorporated's preliminary report was that the buffet facilities should be deleted from the interurban trains then under construction. Thus from the 12th March 1957 the buffet-trailer cars to be coded RT 6601-20, were changed to smoking/non smoking first class cars coded ETB 6021-40. Consequently all the motor cars were to be built as second class coded CF 5001-40. The unaltered second class trailer cars were coded TF 6001-20.

Entry into Service
The first public use of the new U-set cars was on the official train to open the Blue Mountains electrification to Lithgow on the 22nd June 1957 (with a plaque unveiled at Lithgow Station). The train comprised U-set trailer cars TF 6006, 6007, 6008, 6009, and CHO 2007 converted to a power van, and was hauled by electric locomotive 4612. The official introduction to regular service occurred on the 15th September 1958 when a nine-car U-set was used to operate the Blue Mountains business service "The Fish". This set was soon increased to ten cars. The U-sets were operated up to ten cars in length, although they usually ran as either four or eight-car sets. The arrangement of each four-car set followed standard NSW practice of the period; being motor car, trailer, trailer, motor car. Eight-car sets comprised two four-car sets coupled together.

Technical Details
Brief specifications of the N.S.W. U-set motor cars are as follows:-

  • Voltage: 1500 D.C.
  • Gauge: 4' 8½"
  • Weight: 49 tons 8cwt
  • Length over couplers: 67' 6" (20.57 m)
  • Width over gutters: 9' 8" (2.95 m)
  • Height to roof: 12' 10½" (3.92 m)
  • One-hour rated Horsepower: 788 (590 kW)
  • Continuous Horsepower: 660 (494 kW)
  • Driven Axles: 4
  • Maximum Speed: 70 mph (113 km/h)
  • Wheel diameter: 36 inches (914.4 mm)
  • Gear Ratio: 74:17
  • Control Voltage: 120 D.C.

The cars are fitted with Metropolitan-Vickers electrical equipment which includes; four MV222 traction motors, MG51 supply motor generator, MG52 exciter motor generator, single-pan "diamond" pantograph and an AY62 compressor motor (fitted to Westinghouse DH28 compressor). Traction control is by means of the Metrovick "unit switch" system (electrically interlocked individual electro-pneumatic contactors). Control equipment is of the 1955 type, with automatic notching and regenerative braking, operated by the driver's master controller or multiple-unit train lines. The cars are equipped with Westinghouse air brakes, and a full Electro-Pneumatic (EP) brake system.


 CF 5001 - 1958 Single Deck Interurban Motor Car

About 5001
This original lift-up window car was originally acquired from State Rail by the Hunter Valley Railway Trust (Rothbury) in 1996. Unfortunately, the five U-set cars preserved at Rothbury were sold for scrap in mid-April 2013, with cutting up of the cars commencing on-site on the 16th April. Due to luck, CF 5001 was located at the far end of the consist furthest away from the scrapping location and would have been the last to be done. However swift action saw CF 5001 rescued intact at the last minute, purchased by SETS on the 19th April 2013. The car currently remains at Rothbury.

A full history of this car is currently in preparation.


 CF 5003 - 1958 Single Deck Interurban Motor Car
CF 5003 at Lithgow

Two of our preserved cars in one set! Such was the case with this scene of CF 5003 leading cars ETB 6024, ETB 6037 and CF 5004 at Lithgow on Monday 7 January 1990. Photograph by Stephen Halgren.

About 5003
CF 5003 entered service on the 29th October 1959. In common with all other motor-cars, CF 5003 entered service as a Second class car, until conversion to "one-class" when 1st and 2nd class travel was abolished on 1st September 1974. The only alteration of note in this instance was the removal of the word "SECOND" from the exterior of the car, although the imprint is still visible.

CF 5003 received a major overhaul at Elcar between 3rd September 1973 and 23rd December 1974. Between 17th October 1976 and 2nd February 1987, CF 5003 only visited Elcar for attention to its bogies and minor electrical repair, with the exception of collision repairs between 28th June and 27th July 1977. One incident of note occurred on 18th May 1977 at Blaxland when its pantograph was damaged whilst working 218 passenger as part of set U13. It underwent repairs at Flemington between 18th and 24th May that year.
Interior of CF 5003

CF 5003 was powered up from the overhead for the first time in 11½ years on Saturday 16th September 2006. Most of the interior cosmetic work is still ahead of us. SETS Photograph

CF 5003 is one of only five motor cars that retained the original lift-up windows and was the only car to retain its brown lower saloon interior throughout its service life. CF 5003 was withdrawn from service on 6th March 1995, stripped of some switchgear components and sent to Carriage Works, Eveleigh for storage. The car was sold by the State Rail Authority of N.S.W. to the Sydney Electric Train Society for preservation on 9th September 1998.

A major program of works has been carried out on 5003 over recent years whilst stored at Hornsby. This has included refitting all missing electrical equipment and controls, repairs to glazing, repairs to resistance, lighting and control wiring, replacement of all wheelsets, reinstallation of an original Metrovick pantograph, servicing of electrical equipment and repairing flooring at the ends of the car. The car is presently on display at Junee Roundhouse.


 CF 5021 - 1958 Single Deck Interurban Motor Car
CF 5021

Some of the Society's cars were previously used for SETS tours, hired from State Rail. On Saturday 20th August 1994 CF 5021 trails CF 5013, ETB 6021 and TF 6006 at Zig Zag on SETS second tour to the Zig Zag Railway. Aside from the 1950s headlight location, the shape of the front of 5021 is very similar to Sydney's first steel suburban cars made by Leeds Forge in Britain in the 1920s. Photograph by Stephen Halgren

About 5021
CF 5021 entered service on the 11th December 1959.

The first major incident of note that involved CF 5021 occurred on 24th September 1967. On set U3 since 17th May 1967, 5021 was the rear car of 126 passenger to Gosford when loose steel rods on S wagon 9724 on an Up Goods speared into the driver's cab of CF 5012 at Lewisham. This car received a full overhaul at Elcar between 22nd November 1976 and 31st August 1977, which included fitting Beclawat sliding windows.

CF 5021 made its last revenue service run on set U4 ex Newcastle to Sydney on 29th October 1996 and it was transferred to the Down Yard at Clyde for storage in January 1997. The car was sold by the State Rail Authority of N.S.W. to the Sydney Electric Train Society for preservation on 9th September 1998.
Interior of CF 5021

Powered up, with pantograph raised and compressor, supply and exciter motor-generator sets running, 5021's main saloon is illuminated by traditional NSW railways pendant lights. August 2006. SETS Photograph

Similarly to 5003, a major program of works has been carried out on 5021 over recent years whilst stored at Hornsby. This has included extensive repairs to glazing, replacement of some cab equipment, repairs to lighting wiring, replacement of earth return wiring, replacement of supply generator set, replacement of all traction motors, reinstallation of an original Metrovick pantograph, servicing of electrical equipment, installation of batteries and repairing flooring at the ends of the car. The car is presently on display at Junee Roundhouse.


 CF 5022 - 1958 Single Deck Interurban Motor Car
CF 5022

This car is shown leading cars TF 6004, TF 6020 and CF 5008 at Hawkesbury River on Tuesday 29 October 1996 on the last "short north" U-boat ex-Sydney- run N123. This set formed the last run to Sydney, ex Newcastle, on Friday 26 October 1996. Photograph by Stephen Halgren

About 5022

CF 5022 entered service on 30 November 1959.

Its one incident of note occurred on 11th May 1977 when three windows were broken when set U9 shunted to No.2 Down Siding and struck 4480 on 957 goods which was foul of the siding at 7:15am. Following this incident, CF 5022 was given a full overhaul and fitted with Beclawat windows between 29th May 1976 and 1st March 1977. Between 29th August and 5th December 1985, CF 5022 received an internal repaint.

CF 5022 made its last revenue service run on 29th October 1996 and it was transferred to the Down Yard at Clyde for storage in January 1997. The car was sold by the State Rail Authority of N.S.W. to the Sydney Electric Train Society for preservation on 9th September 1998.
Interior of CF 5022

The interior of this car in the mid 1990s, with its white ceiling, indicates a late 1980's overhaul. Note the new style seats. Photograph by Stephen Halgren

Works completed on this car include replacement of external Beclawat window surrounds and extensive repairs to glazing. The car was originally obtained as a spare, and other than installing missing handrails and other minor fittings, including lavatory plumbing, no substantial interior work is currently planned. To return the car to operation it will need attention to flooring at the car ends, repairs to lighting wiring, all motors changed due to damaged leads, a replacement compressor fitted due to internal damage, and replacement of roof top electrical equipment, including pantograph.


 TF 6010 - 1958 Single Deck Interurban Trailer Car
TF6010 exterior

Exterior of TF6010, as seen at Penrith on a SETS tour in 1996. Photograph by Roy Howarth

About 6010

TF 6010 entered service on 30 October 1959 as a Second class car, prior to the change to "one-class" on 1st September 1974. Like the CF motor cars, the only alteration worth noting is the removal of the word "SECOND" from the exterior of the car, although the imprint is still visible.

The only incident of note occurred when TF 6010, on set U3 since 6th March 1977 derailed after colliding with condemned Tulloch single-deck trailer T 4656 at Flemington Car Sheds at 4:15pm on 13th March 1978. T4656 had previously been condemned on 22nd August 1977. TF 6010 was transferred to Elcar for repairs the following day before reentering service on 4th August 1978.

TF 6010's last revenue service was part of set U3 from Newcastle to Sydney on 31 October 1996 and it was transferred to the Down Yard at Clyde for storage in January 1997. The car was sold by the State Rail Authority of N.S.W. to the Sydney Electric Train Society for preservation on 9th September 1998.
Interior of TF 6010

The interior of 6010 on a SETS tour in 1996. Photograph by Roy Howarth

Works completed on this car include a bogie swap to rectify condemned wheels. The main saloon seating has been removed to enable an internal repaint. To return the car to operation it will also need attention to flooring at the car ends, repairs to lighting wiring, and various minor internal fittings replaced including lavatory plumbing.


 ETB 6037 - 1958 Single Deck Interurban Trailer Car
ETB 6037

ETB 6037 is one of the last former first class interurban trailers in near original state. The car is shown at Central on Australia Day 1996. Photograph by Roy Howarth

About 6037

ETB 6037 entered service on 23 October 1959 as a first class trailer car prior to the change to "one-class" on 1st September 1974. The main features of first class cars was blue upholstery as opposed to green in second class, provision of ashtrays in the long smoking saloon and provision of carpet strips along the aisle and between the seats. This car retains the original style seats, although they are the green upholstery of second class.

The only incident of note involving 6037 occurred on 17th August 1975 when, having been on set U6 since 2nd September 1974, all four cars on this set (5004, 6008, 6037 and 5018) derailed at Mt Victoria at 11:48am whilst on Run 141, blocking the Up and Down main lines. ETB 6037 received a Full Overhaul at Carriage Works, Eveleigh between 7th June and 29th September 1977.

ETB 6037 was withdrawn from service and subsequently condemned on 2nd April 1996, and was sent to Eveleigh Carriage Works for storage. The car was sold by the State Rail Authority of N.S.W. to the Sydney Electric Train Society for preservation on 9th September 1998.
Interior of CF 6037

The interior view, taken at Central during July 1994, shows the unique ETB partition that separated the small Non-Smoking compartment from the rest of the car. Note this car also retains the original style seating. Photograph by Roy Howarth

Works completed on this car include a bogie swap to rectify condemned wheels. To return the car to operation it will also need attention to flooring at the car ends, repairs to lighting wiring, and various minor internal fittings replaced, including lavatory plumbing and some luggage racks.


 Other Preserved Interurban cars

Additional U-set interurban cars were purchased by Society members subsequent to their sale by public auction on the 24th November 1998. While retained, they are currently not part of the Society's official collection. These include Motor cars CF 5006, CF 5010 and CF 5027, Second class trailer car TF 6006 and first class trailer car ETB 6038. These cars are generally complete with bogies and full underfloor equipment etc.. ETB 6038 has original lift-up windows, the remainder have Beclawat sliding windows. These cars are currently housed at Goulburn.

U-set interurban cars have been obtained by a number of other rail preservation groups in N.S.W., with the trailer cars also of interest for steam trains on preserved branch lines, due to their low maintenance unpainted stainless steel construction.

For electric carriage preservation, Cars CF 5015, CF 5017, CF 5035, TF 6013 and ETB 6029 are held at Redfern by State Rail/Railcorp. Cars CF 5004 and CF 5024 are held at Dorrigo. Car ETB 6039 is held at Valley Heights.

As carriages for steam locomotives, Cars TF 6004, TF 6005, TF 6014, TF 6020, ETB 6031, and ETB 6035 are on the Glenreagh Mountain Railway. Cars TF 6001, TF 6002, TF 6008, TF 6009, TF 6011, TF 6012, TF 6019 and ETB 6026 are on the Richmond Vale Railway.

In addition, the public auction lead to 31 cars being sold for use on properties as out-houses and sheds etc., usually with bogies and underframe equipment removed. Some of this surplus equipment was able to be recovered by SETS members, and this has provided a source of spares for the preserved cars.

Carriage notes by Stephen Halgren and Hugh Burns.

Revised September 2006

 Further Information
See Also:
Single Deck Suburban (EMU) Passenger Cars
Electric Locomotive 4615
Electric Locomotive 8606


 
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Sydney Electric Train Society
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