VR Fashion Express Train

 
  NSW3802 Junior Train Controller

In the 1950, or 60s the Victorian Railways fitted out a train that toured Victoria & South Australia with displays and promotions from Australian clothing manufacturers.

Does anyone have more information about the train.

Composition and vehicles.
Where the train ran.
Dates, etc
Photographs.

Need the information for a Modelling the Railways of South Australia Convention presentation,

Thanks,

Les.

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  M636C Minister for Railways

In the 1950, or 60s the Victorian Railways fitted out a train that toured Victoria & South Australia with displays and promotions from Australian clothing manufacturers.

Does anyone have more information about the train.

Composition and vehicles.
Where the train ran.
Dates, etc
Photographs.

Need the information for a Modelling the Railways of South Australia Convention presentation,

Thanks,

Les.
NSW3802

The train consisted of (off the top of my head) five display cars which had been VR "V" stock (AV or BV) clerestory roof corridor vehicles. The sides were replaced by plywood(?) panels. These were painted alternately in dark or light shades of yellow,

I think the train ran in about 1964. Checking "Railway Transportation" magazine would provide an answer.

Significantly, it also ran in NSW on the standard gauge. Two passenger cars and a brake van accompanied the train in NSW and I assume similar vehicles were used in SA and Victoria. I think the NSW cars were an ACS composite sleeper (maybe) and definitely an RFV buffet car from an NCR set. (Both these cars are now made in HO by Eureka).

The brake van was a wooden VR bogie van, possibly class ZLP with roof pericopes. It may have been painted to match the train.


The display cars were later sheathed in corrugated steel giving the appearance of an arched roof and looking a little like stainless steel. I'm not sure what displays they were used for in their modified form.

I think I have slides of these in NSW in their original form and as modified in Victoria.

I might have trouble finding these photos from more than fifty years ago, but I think John Beckhaus, who regularly attends the SA forum, should be able to find his equivalent shots for you.

Peter
  N463 Locomotive Driver

The brake van was a wooden VR bogie van, possibly class ZLP with roof pericopes. It may have been painted to match the train.
M636C


Mark Bau's website has a picture of a yellow van on a "Fashion Express".
5th picture down on this page:
http://www.victorianrailways.net/guards%20vans/guards%20pages/zlp/zlp.html
  allan Chief Commissioner


The train consisted of (off the top of my head) five display cars which had been VR "V" stock (AV or BV) clerestory roof corridor vehicles. The sides were replaced by plywood(?) panels. These were painted alternately in dark or light shades of yellow,

I think the train ran in about 1964. Checking "Railway Transportation" magazine would provide an answer.

Significantly, it also ran in NSW on the standard gauge. Two passenger cars and a brake van accompanied the train in NSW and I assume similar vehicles were used in SA and Victoria. I think the NSW cars were an ACS composite sleeper (maybe) and definitely an RFV buffet car from an NCR set. (Both these cars are now made in HO by Eureka).

The brake van was a wooden VR bogie van, possibly class ZLP with roof pericopes. It may have been painted to match the train.


The display cars were later sheathed in corrugated steel giving the appearance of an arched roof and looking a little like stainless steel. I'm not sure what displays they were used for in their modified form.
M636C
OK. I've nailed the "Display Cars". They are illustrated, in their aluminium clad guise, in volume 13 of the Brief History, p 153. AVs 4, 6, 22 and 29 were aluminium clad in Feb, 1966. BVs 9 and 21 in Feb, 1968.

But no mention of the "Fashion Train" in "Recorder", 1964 and 65.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
I am wracking my brains over this to find details. I can't remember what the train was called, but it wasn't "Fashion Express". It travelled all over Victoria, and was hauled by an N class (432?). It's going to drive me mad until I find it, but I'll keep trying.

Edit: Found it! It was the Centenary/Jubilee train in 1951. The Centenary was something to do with the Commonewealth; the Jubilee was the State of Victoria. The train consist was 11 cars and a van, all painted in green and hauled by N430. The train carried artworks (some from the National Gallery of Victoria), historical exhibits, and museum pieces et al. It travelled 6,000 miles ( just under 10,000 km), visited 168 stations and generated a huge amount of interest everywhere.

In those days it could be done. Victorian Railways even had a Public Relations Department within its own organisation. Ah! . . . nostalgia.
  M636C Minister for Railways

The brake van was a wooden VR bogie van, possibly class ZLP with roof pericopes. It may have been painted to match the train.


Mark Bau's website has a picture of a yellow van on a "Fashion Express".
5th picture down on this page:
http://www.victorianrailways.net/guards%20vans/guards%20pages/zlp/zlp.html
N463
That's the one..

I'm sure I've seen the whole photo, possibly in black and white, with the T class running long end first.

Mark's comment about the loco being delivered in Dec 1965 and the references to the display cars being clad in aluminium as early as February 1966 sounds too early, unless the flat yellow panels were aluminium...

So it may have just been the four AVs on the Fashion Train.

The VR Newsletter for early 1966 should have covered it...
I'm pretty sure there was a news item in Railway Transportation.
The NSWGR newsletter probably covered it,

The good news is we now have an approximate date (early 1966) and the vehicle numbers, 4 AVs plus 32ZF.

Peter
  allan Chief Commissioner

I am wracking my brains over this to find details. I can't remember what the train was called, but it wasn't "Fashion Express". It travelled all over Victoria, and was hauled by an N class (432?). It's going to drive me mad until I find it, but I'll keep trying.

Edit: Found it! It was the Centenary/Jubilee train in 1951. The Centenary was something to do with the Commonewealth; the Jubilee was the State of Victoria. The train consist was 11 cars and a van, all painted in green and hauled by N430. The train carried artworks (some from the National Gallery of Victoria), historical exhibits, and museum pieces et al. It travelled 6,000 miles ( just under 10,000 km), visited 168 stations and generated a huge amount of interest everywhere.

In those days it could be done. Victorian Railways even had a Public Relations Department within its own organisation. Ah! . . . nostalgia.
Valvegear
Also covered most of the SAR broad gauge. But, I think that it is not the train under discussion. I do not think that the Jubilee Train toured NSW.
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
Also covered most of the SAR broad gauge. But, I think that it is not the train under discussion. I do not think that the Jubilee Train toured NSW.
"allan"
My apologies everyone - I saw 1950's and didn't look any further. I could remember the Jubilee Train but never even heard of the Fashion Express.
  NSW3802 Junior Train Controller

Also covered most of the SAR broad gauge. But, I think that it is not the train under discussion. I do not think that the Jubilee Train toured NSW.
My apologies everyone - I saw 1950's and didn't look any further. I could remember the Jubilee Train but never even heard of the Fashion Express.
Valvegear
Thanks everyone.

There were 2 different trains, possibly using some of the same coaches, so hopefully some photos will turn up,

Les.
  M636C Minister for Railways

Also covered most of the SAR broad gauge. But, I think that it is not the train under discussion. I do not think that the Jubilee Train toured NSW.
My apologies everyone - I saw 1950's and didn't look any further. I could remember the Jubilee Train but never even heard of the Fashion Express.
Thanks everyone.

There were 2 different trains, possibly using some of the same coaches, so hopefully some photos will turn up,

Les.
NSW3802
We now have the "Fashion Express" details.

Railway Transportation, September 1966 Page 5.

There is a black and white copy of the photo which Mark Bau includes the extract of the yellow 32ZF.
So Mark Bau clearly has the colour photo of the whole train.

Anyway, the train in Victoria had only two Display Cars and 32 ZF (which was described as a Power brake van, so it presumably was fitted with a generator for the display vehicles.) The accompanying vehicles were the former Spirit observation car "Norman" and a sleeping car which might be "Goulburn" or Sleeper No5.

In NSW, the three cars (2 display cars and 32ZF) were joined by an ACS composite sleeping car (fitted with showers for this trip) and an RFV buffet car (with seats adjacent to the buffet replaced by wicker armchairs) and an LHO brake van. The ACS and RFV had been repainted for the service.

The train made a trip to Victorian and SA towns before August 1966, when it left for a trip to Brisbane, with the bogies being changed at Wodonga. It went north via Cootamundra and Parkes to Tamworth, and then to South Brisbane, returning directly to Sydney, then to Canbera and back to Wodonga.

The display cars had the words "FASHION EXPRESS" in upper case italic lettering on the two tone yellow car sides.

Incidentally, the train was run by the Men's Fashion Council of Australia. Two male models accompanied the train on its tours.

The easiest way of finding the information is using the Railway Transportation DVDs but the Illustration is of poor quality.

I'm very impressed that I remembered the two NSW passenger car types correctly after fifty two years...

Peter
  allan Chief Commissioner

Also in VR Newsletter 9/66 p 138 - with the same photo. No mention in Recorder, which means that the South Australian itinerary is still to be determined.

One is now left to wonder when the aluminium sheeting was applied.
  M636C Minister for Railways

Also covered most of the SAR broad gauge. But, I think that it is not the train under discussion. I do not think that the Jubilee Train toured NSW.
My apologies everyone - I saw 1950's and didn't look any further. I could remember the Jubilee Train but never even heard of the Fashion Express.
Thanks everyone.

There were 2 different trains, possibly using some of the same coaches, so hopefully some photos will turn up,

Les.
NSW3802
The Centenary-Jubilee Train ran in 1951, that year being the Centenary of Victoria as an independent colony and the Jubilee of Australian Federation. In South Australia the Victorian Centenary exhibits were removed and the smaller train was just called the "Jubilee Train".

This train was hauled by N430 painted green with yellow lining and consisted of VR APL/BPL cars stripped of seats and painted a matching green and yellow. N432 at North Williamstown was painted to resemble N430 in 1951.

I'm pretty certain that N430 worked the train in SA. It may have been double headed by a 750 class, originally a VR N class.

I have definitely seen photos on the web of the Jubilee train with N430 in SA.

None of those vehicles nor N430 was on the Fashion Train.

To return to the Fashion Train vehicles....
I believe the four cars were converted in early 1966 for the Fashion Train.
My recollection was that more than two display cars came to Sydney.

It is possible that all six cars were sheathed in Aluminium in 1968 with the conversion of the two BVs...

I'm pretty sure I have a photo of four cars sheathed in aluminium, possibly with red lettering.

Peter
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
The accompanying vehicles were the former Spirit observation car "Norman" and a sleeping car which might be "Goulburn" or Sleeper No5.
"M636C"
M636C posts well and is a mine of information. Regretfully, I'm taking one small shot this time - it was the former Spirit Parlour Car.
  M636C Minister for Railways

The accompanying vehicles were the former Spirit observation car "Norman" and a sleeping car which might be "Goulburn" or Sleeper No5.
M636C posts well and is a mine of information. Regretfully, I'm taking one small shot this time - it was the former Spirit Parlour Car.
Valvegear
I take your point but raise the challenge:

The actual spelling as painted on the car was "Parlor" not Parlour.

While it was called a "Parlor" car it was an observation car, with lounge chairs arranged around the curved end.
I think it was called an Observation car when transferred to the "Daylight" in 1955.

In the USA parlor cars had single adjustable rotating seats, and did not necessarily have an observation compartment.

The two wooden cars Murray and Yarra were also called parlor cars and were also observation cars, in that case with open platforms.

But the last time I saw it, the former Norman was indeed lettered "Parlor Car" again, although the interior arrangement is different from its original layout on the "Spirit" in 1937.

Peter
  Valvegear Oliver Bullied, CME

Location: Richmond Vic
I take your point but raise the challenge:

The actual spelling as painted on the car was "Parlor" not Parlour.
"M636C"
Touche, monsieur!  I had forgotten the trans-Pacific influence.
  Z VAN Junior Train Controller

Further to N 463's post of 32 ZF painted orange for the Fashion Express I had a look at Peter J Vincents comprehensive VR site.

Within the ZLP page a photograph of ZLP 32 taken in 1968 clearly shows the Generator exhaust muffler on the Van's roof. The colour of the ZLP van appears to be Russet red which was most probably changed from orange when the BX bogies were fitted and the van recoded ZLP.

A copy in part of the vans history has been taken from Peter's site and pasted below.

ZF 32.VB - 4/10/1962 BAW Built new -
4/1967 BAW To ZLP 32.VA BX bogies
ZLP 32.VA - circa 1968 - Traffic Temporary Power Van
9/1968 SPS Photograph #21.8: operating power van on Showmobile
18/ 9/1969 NWS Traffic General service; 69/8241 Display Train Power van to general service
10/10/1984 - To VVBP 32.VA

Unfortunately on the ZF page the history does not show when the Generator was fitted for the Fashion Express display train.
A ZLP with a muffler on the roof adds another minor modelling variation if the era fits within your parameters.
  YM-Mundrabilla Minister for Railways

Location: Mundrabilla but I'd rather be in Narvik
Further to N 463's post of 32 ZF painted orange for the Fashion Express I had a look at Peter J Vincents comprehensive VR site.

Within the ZLP page a photograph of ZLP 32 taken in 1968 clearly shows the Generator exhaust muffler on the Van's roof. The colour of the ZLP van appears to be Russet red which was most probably changed from orange when the BX bogies were fitted and the van recoded ZLP.

A copy in part of the vans history has been taken from Peter's site and pasted below.

ZF 32.VB - 4/10/1962 BAW Built new -
4/1967 BAW To ZLP 32.VA BX bogies
ZLP 32.VA - circa 1968 - Traffic Temporary Power Van
9/1968 SPS Photograph #21.8: operating power van on Showmobile
18/ 9/1969 NWS Traffic General service; 69/8241 Display Train Power van to general service
10/10/1984 - To VVBP 32.VA

Unfortunately on the ZF page the history does not show when the Generator was fitted for the Fashion Express display train.
A ZLP with a muffler on the roof adds another minor modelling variation if the era fits within your parameters.
Z VAN
Sorry, but TBMUA (Too bloody many unexplained acronyms) to be very informative.

BAW ?
VA ?
SPS ?
VB ?
NWS ?
  M636C Minister for Railways

Further to N 463's post of 32 ZF painted orange for the Fashion Express I had a look at Peter J Vincents comprehensive VR site.

Within the ZLP page a photograph of ZLP 32 taken in 1968 clearly shows the Generator exhaust muffler on the Van's roof. The colour of the ZLP van appears to be Russet red which was most probably changed from orange when the BX bogies were fitted and the van recoded ZLP.

A copy in part of the vans history has been taken from Peter's site and pasted below.

ZF 32.VB - 4/10/1962 BAW Built new -
4/1967 BAW To ZLP 32.VA BX bogies
ZLP 32.VA - circa 1968 - Traffic Temporary Power Van
9/1968 SPS Photograph #21.8: operating power van on Showmobile
18/ 9/1969 NWS Traffic General service; 69/8241 Display Train Power van to general service
10/10/1984 - To VVBP 32.VA

Unfortunately on the ZF page the history does not show when the Generator was fitted for the Fashion Express display train.
A ZLP with a muffler on the roof adds another minor modelling variation if the era fits within your parameters.
Sorry, but TBMUA (Too bloody many unexplained acronyms) to be very informative.

BAW ?
VA ?
SPS ?
VB ?
NWS ?
YM-Mundrabilla
I think Peter actually explains his abbreviations on his site.

He did this work years ago with very limited computer support

BAW =Ballarat Workshops
VA = first use of code
VB = second use of code (version A, version B)
SPS = Spencer St Station
NWS = Newport Workshops.

I think the car was modified in early 1966 with the generator, but no exact dare is known.

Peter
  justapassenger Minister for Railways

I take your point but raise the challenge:

The actual spelling as painted on the car was "Parlor" not Parlour.
M636C
Did the Labor Party ever hold any meetings there?

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