Z12 class steam locomotive

Status: static display, pending restoration


Built in 1878, locomotive 1210 was an express passenger locomotive in the formative years of New South Wales Railways. It was soon outclassed by newer designs, and was relegated to light duties. In May 1914, 1210 hauled the first revenue-earning service into Canberra. In 1962 it was preserved for the people of Canberra, and mounted on a plinth outside the railway station. From 1984 to 1988, Canberra Railway Museum restored the loco to working order for the Bicentennial celebrations.


C30T class steam locomotive

Status: stored, out of service


Locomotive 3016 was built in 1903, originally as a tank engine for work on Sydney’s suburban rail network. With the introduction of electric trains in 1926, the 30 class tank engines became surplus to requirements. Some were reallocated for shunting duties, while 77 (including 3016) were converted into tender engines for regional services.

CPH 27

Diesel Railmotor

Status: undergoing repairs


CPH 27 was built in 1924. The CPH railmotors were introduced to resolve the rising cost of operating trains on quiet regional branch lines. Cheaper, lighter and less resource-intensive than a steam locomotive, the railmotors were so successful that they remained in service until 1985. They were a common sight on the Canberra branch, with one railmotor permanently allocated at Bungendore for passenger trains to Captains Flat from 1940 to 1960.

CPH 37

Diesel Railmotor

Status: undergoing repairs


CPH 37 holds the distinction of being the last of the CPH railmotors to be built, and also the last to be withdrawn in 1985. In the decades since their introduction, the regional branch lines the CPHs served would be gradually closed down. Newer diesel railcars could handle the remaining passenger services, and so the CPHs were reallocated to the greater Sydney area for commuter traffic. CPH 37 ended its operational career running between Moss Vale and Wollongong.


S class diesel locomotive

Status: stored, operational


The S class diesel locomotives were built in 1957 for the Victorian Railways. Designed as premier express passenger diesels, they assumed the ‘S class’ title from a fleet of steam locomotives. Likewise, the first four diesels would also take the names previously belonging to those steam engines. S300 took the name ‘Matthew Flinders’. In 1962, S300 was converted from the Victorian broad gauge of 5’3” to the New South Wales gauge of 4’8.5”, in order to operate the new Southern Aurora between Sydney & Melbourne. As the loco grew older it would eventually be removed from these duties, and was sold to CFCLA in 2004.

S300 is kindly on loan to Canberra Railway Museum from its current owner Paul Feighan.

Rolling Stock

LAN 2351

Roomette sleeping car

Status: static display


LAN 2351 was built in 1962 for the Southern Aurora, an overnight express service between Sydney and Melbourne. The Southern Aurora is historically significant as the first express to run non-stop between the two cities- previously, passengers would have to transfer at Albury due to the break-of-gauge between the states. In 1962 the line from Albury to Melbourne was regauged, removing this obstacle. In 1969, LAN 2351 was a part of the train involved in the Violet Town Disaster. The Southern Aurora would be renamed the Sydney/Melbourne express in 1986, and ceased altogether in 1993. The carriages would be sold to various heritage organisations.

LAN 2351 is kindly on loan to Canberra Railway Museum from VicTrack.


Pullman sleeping car

Status: static display


At around the turn of the century, the New South Wales Railways underwent a major facelift to improve their public image. Among the sweeping changes was the introduction of sleeping cars, allowing for far more comfort on the long journeys across the state. The Pullman Car Company of America were contracted to design a variety of sleeping cars, which were then built in Australia. The AL class were introduced in 1901 to serve on overnight mail trains. In the 1930s the car was converted into a mobile dental clinic, and would travel throughout regional NSW until 1966, when fire damage saw the carriage withdrawn.

TAM 1888

Express sleeping car

Status: static display


TAM 1888 was one of the last of its kind built in 1929, but the TAM 12-wheel cars were first built in 1914. They were the successor to the American-style sleeping cars like AL1040, built to cater for growing demand for sleeper trains. Their 6-wheel bogies not only gave a smoother ride, but allowed the carriages to be longer and hold more people. The TAMs were commonly used by politicians travelling to Canberra. TAM 1888 was requisitioned by the army during WWII, and used as doctor accommodation on the Ambulance Trains ferrying wounded troops from the docks to inland hospitals.

BJ 897

First class sitting car

Status: static display


BJ 897 was built in 1904 as an AM sleeping car, to a design penned by the Mann Boudoir Company, a fierce rival of Pullman. Mann were the first to implement sleeping compartments, an innovation which was hugely popular with the travelling public. With the introduction of the TAM sleepers, the AMs were converted into ordinary sitting cars in the 1930s.

BVJ 1457

Lounge car

Status: static display


BVJ 1457 was built in 1909, and may well have been one of the last Mann-designed cars to appear in NSW before Mann ceased to operate under its own brand, the company having been bought out by their competitor Pullman in 1889. After first being converted into a sitting car in the 1930s, BVJ 1457 was later converted again into a TCS Hostess Training Car, which involved gutting the interior of the car and installing a bar, with the car body being mounted on hydraulic jacks to simulate a moving train. After being sold to Canberra Railway Museum it was converted into a dining car and reclassified BVJ.

HCX 632

Composite brake car

Status: static display


HCX 632 was built in 1914. The design of this car, while unique among the museum’s collection, was once extremely common and dates to the earliest passenger carriages. Before the invention of corridor connectors or end platforms, carriages were composed of isolated compartments. This presented a number of safety and security issues, and once the never innovations came about the old designs were quickly dropped. They earned the nickname ‘Dogboxes’ because it was said that disembarking passengers looked like greyhounds at the start of a race! Originally built with 6 compartments, in the 1960s 3 were removed and converted into a parcels and guards compartment. HCX 632 is a genuine local, having served a number of years on passenger services between Canberra and Goulburn.