Tea & Sugar Provision Van

Commonwealth Railways

Standard Gauge


Class operators: Commonwealth Railways

Condition: Good

Entered service: 14.12.1955

Entered the museum: 2.8.1988

Number in class: 2

Ownership: Port Dock Station Railway Trust

Provenance: Commonwealth Railways

Withdrawn: 3.5.1986


This van was used to service railway settlements weekly on the Tea & Sugar train from Port Augusta-Kalgoorlie on the Trans-Australian Railway. Groceries, hardware, etc. were supplied from the Provision store at Port Augusta.

In 1955 two purpose-built brand new all steel framed vehicles were constructed for use as Provision Vans on the Tea & Sugar. Entering service on 14.12.1955, VPA1340 provided a far superior service and facilities to that of the then existing vans.

Both vans were recoded from ‘VPA’ to ‘OPA’ on 30 November 1984 and officially written off on 3 May 1986 with VPA1340 being transported to the Museum on 2 August 1988. The vans had become surplus due to Pullman sleeping cars Macedon and Mount Lofty (the museum has Pullman dining car Adelaide) being converted to new provisions store cars. The Macedon and Mount Lofty cars had originally been imported from America in 1928 for use as sleeping cars on the Adelaide to Melbourne Express (later named ‘The Overland’).

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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