Our fleet of carriages were initially designed for the Southern Aurora overnight express passenger service between Australia’s two largest cities – Sydney and Melbourne. The darling of Australian travel at the time, the Southern Aurora ran from 16th April 1962 to 2nd August 1986.
First Class throughout, including specialty dining facilities, the Southern Aurora offered sleeper accommodation for comfortable travel.
The 34 stainless steel carriages featured fluted sides and consisted of roomette and twin sleepers, lounge and dining cars. A motor rail service was introduced in 1973 for passengers wanting to travel with their vehicles.
The Southern Aurora’s historic carriages were passed to the Australian Railway Historical Society (ACT) and Transport Heritage NSW (New South Wales Rail Museum) who maintained them in an operational condition.
Since 2017, 15 of these carriages have been acquired by Simon Mitchell & Danielle Smith of NSWGR Holdings Pty Ltd, who have undertaken the restoration of the first 4 twinette carriages (NAM 2330, 2341, 2342 & 2374) at Lithgow Railway Workshops under the direction and care of Tim Elderton.
In 2019, Simon Mitchell & Danielle Smith of NSWGR Holdings Pty Ltd commenced restoration of twinette NAM 2335 and roomette carriages LAN 2348 & 2372 at the Goulburn Locomotive Roundhouse in association with Ken Ainsworth of K&H Ainsworth Engineering Pty Ltd, Goulburn & CFCLA, Goulburn.
In 2020/2021, further restoration work is anticipated for our remaining 6 restorable carriages, which include luggage van MHN 2366, power van 2381, dining carriage RMS 2360, twinette sleeper OAP 2331, NAM 2367, roomette sleeper LAN 2325 & 2344. Sadly roomette sleeper LAN 2324 is beyond economic repair, having had everything below the sole bar gas axed off by a previous owner who planned to use it as a farm shed.
Until these carriages are restored, the remaining carriages on our tours are provided by Transport Heritage NSW, including luggage, lounge, dining and power vans.
Join us to continue the legacy of the Southern Aurora!