Trans-Australian Turtle Back Roofed First Class Sleeping Car AR33

Commonwealth Railways

Standard Gauge


Class operators: Commonwealth Railways

Condition: Good (after basic restoration)

Ownership: Port Dock Station Railway Trust

Provenance: Commonwealth Railways

Built by: CR Port Augusta Workshops

Entered service: 28th April 1920

Entered the museum: 29th November 1995


AR33 was built in 1920 by the Commonwealth Railways for use on its standard gauge 4’ 8½" (1435mm) Port Augusta to Kalgoorlie service. It was the first of a new larger style of wooden carriage that featured a turtle back roof, roomy interior and a chocolate and cream livery.

It remained basically unaltered until 1953 when it was given a major rebuild, fitted with air conditioning and painted maroon.

In 1966 it was fitted with narrow gauge (1067mm) bogies and transferred to Marree. After being on the last narrow gauge Ghan in 1980, it was converted back to standard gauge and allocated to the breakdown train at Alice Springs.

By 1990 it had become surplus to requirements and was placed in storage at Port Pirie, where unfortunately it was heavily vandalised. In 1995 it was offered to the Museum, being delivered by road on 29th November 1995.

During 2001 it was fully restored and painted in Commonwealth Railways livery.

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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