Water Tank Wagon No. 5506

South Australian Railways

Narrow Gauge


Class operators                                                   South Australian Railways

Condition                                                             Good

Entered service                                                   July 1914

Entered the museum                                          1.9.1977

Length (over coupling points)                            17’ 9’’ (5.41 metres)

Ownership                                                          History Trust of South Australia

Provenance                                                        South Australian Railways

Withdrawn                                                          13th April 1977


Drought is not an uncommon occurrence in South Australia and, in times past, it often became necessary for the Railways to transport water to badly affected areas. This required the building and maintaining of a large fleet of water tank cars to be held for such emergencies - Peterborough alone was once home for 120 such vehicles, which ranged in capacity from 1,200 to 3,000 gallons. However, exceptional circumstances sometimes required additional tanks and Temporary Travelling Tanks were sometimes fitted to the underframes of existing wagons. No. 5506 is in this category having been built as a Y-class open wagon, by J. S. Bagshaw & Co., in July 1914. The 2,000 gallon tank was fitted in March 1923.

Originally used on the Peterborough Division, No.5506 was sent to the South-East in January 1945, returning to Peterborough in January 1958. With the building of the standard-gauge line it was isolated on the Gladstone-Wilmington branch, where it remained until condemned on 13th April 1977. On 1st September of the same year it was placed in the Mile End Railway Museum, being transferred to the museum on 23rd September 1988.

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76 Lipson Street
Port Adelaide
South Australia  5015
Open Daily / 10am – 4:30pm





5-15 yrs & with an adult


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Phone: 8341 1690

The National Railway Museum acknowledges the Kaurna people as the traditional owners and custodians of the Adelaide Plains. We honour and respect their ongoing cultural and spiritual connections to this country. We aim to respect the cultural heritage, customs and beliefs of all Indigenous people.

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