Train history

Vintage Rail Journeys conducts rail tours using our own private fleet of ex-Southern Aurora Carriages.

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, 16 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, restoration of twinette NAM 2335, roomette carriages LAN 2348 & 2372 and luggage van MHN 2366 commenced 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 8 restorable carriages, power van PHN 2381, dining carriage RMS 2360, twinette sleeper OAP 2331, NAM 2367, roomette sleepers LAN 2323, 2325, 2326 & 2344.

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!



SOUTHERN AURORA is a registered trademark owned by New South Wales Rail Transport Museum.
Last remaining berths for 2021Book now