Ofs 2259 - Second-class 'Daylight' Sitting Car | NSW Environment & Heritage

Culture and heritage


Ofs 2259 - Second-class 'Daylight' Sitting Car

Item details

Name of item: Ofs 2259 - Second-class 'Daylight' Sitting Car
Other name/s: Ofs 2779
Type of item: Movable / Collection
Group/Collection: Transport - Rail
Category: Railway Locomotives & Rolling Stock
Primary address: North Eveleigh Heritage Store, Eveleigh, NSW 2015
Local govt. area: Sydney
All addresses
Street AddressSuburb/townLGAParishCountyType
North Eveleigh Heritage StoreEveleighSydney  Primary Address


Organisation NameOwner CategoryDate Ownership Updated
RailCorpState Government 
RailCorpState Government 

Statement of significance:

Staff and Sitting Car OFS 2259 has heritage significance as it illustrates the post-WW2 change in carriage construction materials and design towards providing more spacious interiors and air-conditioning for passenger comfort. It is a relic of the important 'Daylight' express railway services of the 1950-1970 period and it has associations with a commercial shift in approach for railway services in NSW, in offering passengers greater comfort in an air-conditioned vehicle. It is a remnant of the earlier design for carriages which was superseded over time but shows some of the gradual change to synthetic materials and modern interior fittings. It demonstrates how the railways constantly modernised carriages and facilities generally in line with technological and commercial conditions of NSW. The decorative style utilised in the carriage, particularly in materials, finishes and colours, is now out of fashion and the vehicle provides a physical record of this style. It is one of two from a former fleet of fifty-seven similar type carriages which have mostly been altered during their lives, whereas this car is in close to original condition, apart from upgraded seating.
Date significance updated: 18 Dec 09
Note: The State Heritage Inventory provides information about heritage items listed by local and State government agencies. The State Heritage Inventory is continually being updated by local and State agencies as new information becomes available. Read the OEH copyright and disclaimer.


Designer/Maker: NSW Government Railways
Builder/Maker: Commonwealth Engineering Ltd, Granville, NSW
Physical description: EXTERNAL
Sitting Car OFS 2259 is a second-class air-conditioned sitting car which was built by ComEng as a car for the 'Daylight' trains and entered service in December 1950. This carriage has a steel frame and underframe and rides on two-axle steel 2CA bogies. It has a high elliptical roof with square ends which is sheathed in painted steel sheets. Its body has steel-framed, double-glazed windows, some with a small opening section at its top. The car has square ends with Pullman vestibule connections and automatic knuckle couplings with block buffers. It is fitted with two steel pressure water tanks under the underframe, air-conditioning equipment and batteries. The carriage can be entered through a doorway at each end of both sides of the carriage or through the vestibule connections.

The interior consists of two seating saloons, two seating compartments (one hostess and one staff compartment) and two toilets. The saloons are fitted with pairs of turnover seats divided by a central corridor. Single parcel racks line the length of each side of the saloon wall just above the window line. Adjustable air-conditioning fittings are attached to the bottom of the racks and the car is lit by a line of central fluorescent lighting. Air vents flank the lighting at regular intervals down the carriage. The compartments feature facing triple seats with parcel racks above. The carriage seats forty-one persons. Apart from replacement of seats with a more modern type, the interior woodwork and fittings of the car are in close to original condition. The interior is lined with timber plywood and silky oak and the ceilings are covered with moulded ply and aluminium. The floor is constructed with concrete or timber and lined with carpet.
Physical condition and/or
Archaeological potential:
Operational Status: Non-Operational
General Condition: Poor Condition
External Condition: Moderate Condition
Internal Condition: Poor Condition

The carriage is complete but in a dilapidated condition due to long term storage without maintenance works. The exterior condition is in moderate condition. Wheels are excellent. The roof has been patched but this appears to have been ineffective and has led to serious rot in the internal timber framing of the car. The guard is missing from the chiller compressor. Minor electrical components are missing.

Interior condition is very poor, with the internal timber framework which supports internal timber panelling extensively damaged by dry rot. The extensive rot in the timber framing would appear to necessitate completely stripping the interior of the car out, and, if this is done, it would likely be worth removing the ceiling and roof and fixing the cause of the problem, the roof leaks.

Lead paints, possible small amounts of asbestos in electrical controls.
Date condition updated:13 Nov 09
Modifications and dates: December 1950 - Built by Commonwealth Engineering Ltd, and entered service coded OFS2259.
July 1981 - Recoded as OFS 2779
July 1982 - Recoded as OFS 2259.
Current use: NSW Government Railways Collection
Former use: Staff and Sitting Car


Historical notes: When contracts were let for the cars in the RUB sets, provision was made for one second-class car in each set to have a staff compartment for the buffet car crew and another for the train hostess. Four cars were delivered as second-class cars and coded OFS, with a seating capacity of 41. Four other cars were delivered as first-class, and coded OBS.

The hostess and staff compartments, each nearly 2m long, were at the ladies end of the car. The staff compartment had a bench seat along one wall. A cupboard on part of the other wall resulted in the compartment having only one window. The hostess' compartment could also be used by women with babies or infants.

OFS 2257, OFS 2260, OFS 2261 and OBS 2263 were used in the day-nighter program, with minor internal adjustments made.

This car was built by Commonwealth Engineering Ltd as a second-class air-conditioned saloon car with hostess compartment, code OFS, as part of the eight-car 'Daylight' air-conditioned trains and placed in service December 1950. It was recoded as OFS 2779 in July 1981, but reverted back to its original number in July 1982. By 2003 the car had still not been condemned.

Historic themes

Australian theme (abbrev)New South Wales themeLocal theme
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Technology-Activities and processes associated with the knowledge or use of mechanical arts and applied sciences Creation of railway towns-
3. Economy-Developing local, regional and national economies Transport-Activities associated with the moving of people and goods from one place to another, and systems for the provision of such movements Railway work culture-

Assessment of significance

SHR Criteria a)
[Historical significance]
Staff and Sitting Car OFS 2259 has moderate historical significance as it illustrates the post-WW2 change in carriage construction materials and design, particularly the change to steel fabrication for carriage bodies, and is a relic of an important intercity railway service and has associations with a commercial shift in approach for railway services in NSW. It is a remnant of the earlier design for sitting cars which was superseded over time, and demonstrates how the railways adapted and altered carriages and facilities generally in line with technological and commercial conditions.
SHR Criteria b)
[Associative significance]
Based on current knowledge, Staff and Sitting Car OFS 2259 is not known to have any special associations with people or events of significance in a local or state context. It does not have significance under this criterion.
SHR Criteria c)
[Aesthetic significance]
Staff and Sitting Car OFS 2259 has low aesthetic significance. It is a example of the stylistic approaches in vogue at the time of its construction, and provides a physical record of this style.

Staff and Sitting Car OFS 2259 has low level of technical significance. It is an example of a design and technology of railway carriages which has been superseded in NSW, and the fittings and facilities in the carriage are examples of technologies and practices which are no longer practised. It is an early example of an air-conditioned passenger carriage.
SHR Criteria d)
[Social significance]
The Staff and Sitting Car OFS 2259 is likely to have a degree of social value for the community-based associations who have demonstrated an ongoing interest in its conservation and management. This item may also have a degree of social significance to a broader section of the community linked to its historic, aesthetic and associative values.
SHR Criteria e)
[Research potential]
Staff and Sitting Car OFS 2259 has a low level of research significance as it has some potential to illustrate the post-WW2 change in carriage construction materials and design, particularly the change to steel fabrication for carriage bodies, as well as an increasingly commercial shift in approach for railway services in NSW during the mid 20th century.
SHR Criteria f)
Staff and Sitting Car OFS 2259 is rare as one of the relatively few surviving examples of a redundant series of NSW Railway passenger vehicles, and was the last OFS/OBS carriage to be condemned, and may be the only one to have survived.
SHR Criteria g)
Staff and Sitting Car OFS 2259 is a good representative example of an OFS/OBS Staff and Sitting Car. Its exterior is a representative example of the materials, appearance and methods of construction of railway carriages of the period in which it was constructed, while the interior contains representative examples of the accommodation provided for travel on the NSW Railways.
Integrity/Intactness: Staff and Sitting Car OFS 2259 retains a moderate level of integrity and intactness. This car underwent very few modifications during its service life and has retained most of its original fittings. The cars condition, however, compromises this intactness (particularly in the interior).
Assessment criteria: Items are assessed against the PDF State Heritage Register (SHR) Criteria to determine the level of significance. Refer to the Listings below for the level of statutory protection.


Heritage ListingListing TitleListing NumberGazette DateGazette NumberGazette Page
Heritage Act - s.170 NSW State agency heritage register     

Study details

TitleYearNumberAuthorInspected byGuidelines used
S170 Rolling Stock Review2009 NSW Department of Commerce  Yes
SRA Heritage Rolling Stock Assessment2000    No

References, internet links & images

TypeAuthorYearTitleInternet Links
WrittenDavid Cooke, Don Estall, Keith Seckold, John Beckhous and Dennis Toohey2003Coaching Stock of the NSW Railways, Volume 2

Note: internet links may be to web pages, documents or images.

rez rez rez
(Click on thumbnail for full size image and image details)

Data source

The information for this entry comes from the following source:
Name: State Government
Database number: 4807157

Every effort has been made to ensure that information contained in the State Heritage Inventory is correct. If you find any errors or omissions please send your comments to the Database Manager.

All information and pictures on this page are the copyright of the Heritage Division or respective copyright owners.