Pullman Dining Car 'Adelaide'

South Australian Railways

Broad Gauge


Class operators                                                   South Australian Railways; State Transport Authority

Condition                                                             Excellent

Ownership                                                           History Trust of South Australia

Provenance                                                        South Australian Railways

Number in class                                                  1

Entered service                                                  19th May 1928

Withdrawn                                                          6th September 1988.

Entered the museum                                          6th September 1988

Length (over coupling points)                            82’ 4’’ (25.1 metres)

Tare Weight                                                       76 tons (76,000 kilograms)


George Pullman must be one the best known names in railway history, for it was he who developed the sleeping car and dining car to a point where they became the epitome of luxury travel. His Pullman Palace Car Company, founded in Chicago in 1867, provided luxury cars for American railroads and the rest of the world.

His first sleeping car, the Pioneer, was built for the Chicago & Alton Railroad in 1864 and its immediate success led to the setting up of the company.

His first dining car, the President, was built in 1867 for the Great Western Railway of Canada. Known as the Hotel Car, it was a sleeping car equipped with a kitchen and pantry, and portable tables which were set up for meals. The first complete dining car, the Delmonico was built for the Chicago & Alton Railroad in 1868.

Dining Car ‘Adelaide’ was ordered from the Pullman Company, along with the sleeping cars ‘Mt Lofty’ and ‘Macedon’ in 1926, for use on the Melbourne Express, and is a typical example of North American carriage building practices of the time. At 75 tons (75,000kg) it was found to be too heavy. Its inclusion in the train consist (then limited to 11 E-cars over the Mt Lofty Ranges) excluded the use of two standard cars and therefore proved uneconomical. It nevertheless saw service from time to time, and became a favourite on enthusiasts’ trains in the 1960s and 1970s.

When Australian National took over South Australia’s country services in 1978, ‘Adelaide’ remained under the ownership of the State Transport Authority who leased it to the museum. It was placed in the museum on the 6th September 1988.

Visit the NRM

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





5-15 yrs & with an adult


2 adults & up to 3 children


  • Prices may vary for special events
  • EFTPOS is preferred payment method
  • Open from 12pm on ANZAC Day
  • Closed Christmas Day

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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