Railcar No. 257 - Bluebird

South Australian Railways

Broad Gauge



Class operators                                                   South Australian Railways; Australian National Railways

Condition                                                             Excellent

Ownership                                                           Port Dock Station Railway Trust

Provenance                                                        South Australian Railways; Australian National

Built by                                                                S.A.R. Islington Workshops

Number in class                                                  12

Model                                                                  250

Entered service                                                  13th February 1957

Withdrawn                                                          1995

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After the regular Mount Gambier and Broken Hill services were withdrawn on 31st December 1990 the only remaining operation was an intermittent special to Broken Hill which ceased on the 31st.

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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