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AL 2 Under Restoration at Dwellingup

The history of AL 2 dates back to the 1880's when the WAGR ordered 10 coaches from the Metropolitan Railway Carriage and Wagon Co Ltd. (Birmingham, UK) to meet the growing demand for suburban services. These coaches  - classified AG - were the first of the intercommunicatable, end platform type in WA and differed markedly from the ubiquitous "Dog Box" coaches.

In 1920, many of the AG's became surplus with the withdrawal of the Kalgoorlie suburban passenger service and three of them were converted into buffet cars at the Midland Workshops. Reclassified AGB, but retaining their original numbers, these buffet cars were put into service, in the words of the 1920-21 WAGR Annual Report, "...to augment the dining cars and to provide additional conveniences on country trains". Initial use was made of the coaches on the Perth - Kellerberrin, Perth - Wyalkatchem and Caron - Yalgoo services.

AL 2 as part of the Etmilyn Diner Consist      Photo by Murray Rowe

The internal layout was unusual in that a pantry was located in the centre of the coach thereby separating the first and second class dining saloons which seated 12 people each. Obviously this car was marshalled between the first and second class coaches on the country passenger trains.

AGB 12 was renumbered AGB 2 in 1939 and in 1941 it was re-converted to an AG, number 2, and resumed original duties as a day coach. In 1948 it was fitted out as living quarters and used as a District Inspection coach. Classified AL 2, this coach spent its latter years at Geraldton before being withdrawn from service in 1980. It was then leased by HVTR and moved to Pinjarra. Before it was moved to Dwellingup for external restoration work, the canvas roof covering was replaced by Westrail staff. This car was later purchased by HVTR in 1986.

The coach has undergone interior refurbishing to enable it to be used as a Club/Lounge and special function car on the Etmilyn Forest Diner service

 

 

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