South Australian Railways
Class operators South Australian Railways; Australian National Railways
Ownership National Railway Museum
Provenance South Australian Railways; Australian National
Built by S.A.R. Islington Workshops
Number in class 12
Entered service 13th February 1957
Entered the museum 3rd May 1995
Total Weight 60 tons (60,000 kilograms)
Engine type 2 x Cummins NT-855-R2 6-cylinder diesel
Auxiliary Power 1 x GM series 3-71 3-cylinder diesel
Fuel capacity 250 gallons (1137 litres)
Maximum Speed 70 mph (112 km/h)
Length (over coupling points) 78’ 3’’ (23.85 metres)
Seating capacity 52 passengers
The first of the Bluebird railcars commenced regular service on the Morgan line in October 1954. A regular service to Moonta began in September 1955 and a month later a Bluebird replaced the regular engine-hauled train to Mount Gambier.
As additional cars were constructed, their sphere of operation was extended to Port Pirie in 1958, and Terowie and Gladstone in 1959. They also operated to Tailem Bend and Victor Harbor. Unfortunately they were not able to arrest the slow decline in country passenger numbers. Services to Morgan were the first to cease in 1965, followed by Moonta in 1969, Tailem Bend in 1981, Gladstone in 1982 and Victor Harbor in 1984.
After the regular Mount Gambier and Broken Hill services were withdrawn on 31st December 1990 the only remaining operation was an intermittent special to Broken Hill which ceased on the 31st.