Culture and heritage


NSW Government Railways dining car

Advance Australia Arms on a NSWGR Dining Car

This Advance Australia Arms is displayed on NSW Government Railways (NSWGR) dining car AB.90 of the mid-twentieth century.

This version of the Advance Australia Arms was used on NSWGR rolling stock during the federation period (1890s-1910s), after which it was replaced by an interlaced monogram. The dining car was built in 1927 at the Carriage Works in Redfern for the Royal Visit by the Duke and Duchess of York. Following their visit, it went into regular service as a dining car. In 1970 the carriage was renovated and included in the Western Endeavour tour train with steam locomotive 3801, and became part of the only steam train to cross the continent from Sydney to Perth.

It was for this journey that the carriage was painted in the Indian Red as shown, and the unusual version of the Advance Australia Arms shown in a belted yellow disk, tinted yellow (Or), orange/brown (Tenné) and white (Argent), was applied to all the carriages. The Arms were printed on transfers, and made in England. The belt was known as a Casley Loop, after William (Bill) Casley, manager of the Eveleigh Carriage Workshops at Redfern and later Chief Mechanical Engineer at the State Rail Authority of NSW. All cars in the Western Endeavour carried this badge, but in later years most were repainted making this example extremely scarce (Cooke, 301-318). The carriage is now in the collections of the Rail Transport Museum at Thirlmere.

Some questions to research:

  1. What national celebrations were occurring in 1970 that the Western Endeavour may have been involved with?
  2. What explanations might there be for using a version of the Advance Australia Arms in the mid-twentieth century?

Image source: Graham Williams, Heritage Branch, 2004.

Page last updated: 01 September 2012