S.A.R. 780 Class Steel CarsComrails Logo

S.A.R. 780 Class Steel Cars

780 to 783

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780 781 782 783
BF 343 BF 344 BF 345

Classified by the South Australian Railways as "first class end loading vestibule country cars". Built at Islington in 1942. Tare 36.6 tonnes, roller bearings. Seated 38 first class passengers in two compartments, arranged two on one side of the isle, and a single seat on the other.

The 3 remaining "780" steel cars were transferred to Australian National Railways in July 1977. They were released to traffic for use on fast mixed goods train services. Road numbers "BF 343", "BF 344" and "BF 345". Classified as "non-airconditioned economy class sitting car with cooking facilities".

Members of the 780 class were also known as: BF 343, BF 344, BF 345, DC 783, Lowanna.



19.8.1987,Port Augusta BF343 ex SAR 780 sitting car

780 -- BF 343

First class end loading vestibule country car.

23.12.1941Entered service on the South Australian Railways as steel end loading vestibule country car No.780. [rrc]
26.8.1977Converted to standard gauge as "BF 343". [rrc]
17.12.1986TIMS/WMS: passenger car "BF 343 C" alteration complete: "apply check letter to class & number of approximately 443 locomotives, passenger cars and rail cars. Classify Overland sleeping cars. (RS4173)".
5.4.1987In use at Port Augusta.
11.7.1990Stored at Port Pirie.
15.09.1990TIMS/WMS: shows passenger car "BF 343 C" as having repair "vehicle recommended condemn".
19.10.1990To Keswick for disposal.
3.1991Sold to Northern Rivers Scenic Railway.
15.03.1991TIMS/WMS: shows passenger car "BF 343 C" as having repair "vehicle sold".
-Returned to service.
May 2004Transferred from Murwillumbah to Lithgow. [rpf].
5.4.1987,Stirling north burnt BF344

781 -- BF 344

First class end loading vestibule country car.

23.12.1941Entered service on the South Australian Railways as steel end loading vestibule country car No.781. [rrc]
2.12.1977Converted to standard gauge as "BF 344". [rrc]
11.10.1983Written off due to fire damage. [rrc]
5.4.1987At Stirling North in its side, interior burnt out and without bogies.
29.2.1988Body still at Stirling North.

782 -- BF 345 -- ABK 782

9.4.2005,interior of 782

First class end loading vestibule country car.

19.3.1942Entered service on the South Australian Railways as steel end loading vestibule country car No.782. [rrc]
5.8.1977Converted to standard gauge as "BF 345". [rrc]
17.12.1986TIMS/WMS: passenger car "BF 345 U" alteration complete: "apply check letter to class & number of approximately 443 locomotives, passenger cars and rail cars. Classify Overland sleeping cars. (RS4173)".
07.11.1989TIMS/WMS: shows passenger car "BF 345 U" as having repair "wheel set".
13.11.1989TIMS/WMS: shows passenger car "BF 345 U" as having repair "air brake system complete".
13.11.1989TIMS/WMS: shows passenger car "BF 345 U" as having repair "train pipe (end)".
12.06.1990TIMS/WMS: shows passenger car "BF 345 U" as having repair "air brake system complete".
12.06.1990TIMS/WMS: shows passenger car "BF 345 U" as having repair "handrails end".
21.05.1991TIMS/WMS: shows passenger car "BF 345 U" as having repair "air brake system complete".
21.05.1991TIMS/WMS: shows passenger car "BF 345 U" as having repair "train pipe".
21.11.1992Written off.
21.11.1992TIMS/WMS: shows passenger car "BF 345 U" as having repair "vehicle recommended condemn".
1993Placed in storage at Islington works. It had been intended to do the car up for use on The Explorer.
1.11.1997Sold to Great Southern Railway.
6.1998Sold to SteamRail.
27.3.1999Sent to Melbourne.
1999Recoded ABK 782.
30.5.1997TIMS/WMS: shows passenger car "BF 345 U" in AN "Mainland Division".
Owner:"AN"
Operator:"D"
Length Over Headstocks:"18.5m"
Tare Weight:"36.6tonne"
Current Gauge:"Broad"
Gauge Restrictions:"S"
Bogie Configuration:"2X2"
Original Cost:"$16400"
Diagram Book Page No.:"NS 56"
Date Built:"01.01.1942"
Operating System:"AN"
Intended Use:"Passengers"
Remarks:"W/O 21.11.92"
BSG Code:"DSDZ"
9.4.1986 DC783 Dry Creek

783 -- DC 783 -- Lowanna

First class end loading vestibule country car. Entered service as a similar car to the other 780 class. In 1973 it was coverted to a Departmental Officers car for use with the Vice Regal car and the Commissioners car Murray. This involved fitting vehicle out with sleeping compartments and a kitchen. Also title as Commissioners Power car. Sleeps 8 passengers. The conversion work involved fitting the car with a number of sleeping compartments and a kitchen. The car was not air conditioned, but it was fitted with an under-floor alternator set to provide power to itself and one other vehicle. The bogies fitted to the car were orginally used under the Cafeteria Car, but had become surplus when that vehicle was fitted with Commonwealth style cast steel bogies.

It was a common sight in 1978 on Port Pirie passenger trains were it was usually supplying air conditioning power for an "RBJ" class buffet car, while the Cafeteria Car was undergoing a service.

It was retained by State Transport Authority of South Australia when the S.A.R. was sold to the Commonwealth.

24.3.1942Entered service as Country Steel Passenger car "783". [rrc]
24.4.1973Converted to an Officers car and recoded "DC 783". [rrc]
1975Retained by State Transport Authority of South Australia when the S.A.R. was sold to the Commonwealth.
1986Officialy withdrawn from service
-Leased to SteamRanger.
3.1990Given the name Lowanna by SteamRanger in for use on the South Coast Explorer trains.
1.4.1995Transferred to Port Dock Station Railway Musueum.
2005Sold by the History Trust of South Australia to a private Victorian Syndicate.
-Moved to Victorian Goldfields Railway, Maldon, Victoria [newsrail 7.2007]