Commonwealth Railways Special Car No. 3, NSS34

NSS34 at Port Augusta Railway Station. (Commonwealth Railways/Australian Archives)

NSS34, Commonwealth Railways Special Car No. 3, was constructed at the CR's Port Augusta workshops, commencing in July 1928. It entered service in April 1929, and spent its entire life on the Port Augusta to Alice Springs railway.

A distinctive feature of this carriage is a round-ended observation lounge which allowed guests and CR officers panoramic views of the track and countryside when the carriage was attached to the rear of trains.

NSS34 has four two-berth sleeping compartments. The sleeping compartments included a wardrobe, and wash basin with hot and cold water. The carriage was fitted with Stone's electric lighting, fans, refrigeration, water raising equipment and hot water service.

A dining saloon, kitchen, bathroom and toilet provided complete facilities. Accommodation was also provided for two employees in a separate compartment. The carriage has an interior of Tasmanian Oak.

NSS34's dining room set up with full silver service, at Quorn in 1998

NSS34 was available "for distinguished visitors, and for hire to the public." Commonwealth Railways officers were able to use NSS34 from 1930. NSS34 was also used as the Ghan's dining car for two periods in the 1930s when the regular dining car ND35 was undergoing maintenance.

NSS34 was used on HRH Duke of Gloucester's special train during his 1934 Australian visit.

In the 1960s some minor upgrading to NSS34's facilities took place. The bathroom was re-lined with laminex and a shower installed. A gas stove and refrigerator were installed in the kitchen.

After the closure of the narrow-gauge Central Australia Railway, NSS34 was transferred to the Pichi Richi Railway in early 1981, and was purchased by PRR from Australian National in 1995.

 

NSS34 at Quorn after being externally restored in 1999