INTERURBAN TRAILER CARS (‘U BOATS’)
Glenreagh Mountain Railway Inc. Notes prepared by Dr John Kramer, 2004
These stainless steel passenger cars were built by Commonwealth Engineering Ltd in Sydney in 1957 and 1958. The design was based on plans of the Budd Car Co. of the USA.
They were part of a large order to create the rolling stock needed to operate services on the newly electrified railway lines from Sydney to Gosford and the Blue Mountains. They served their purpose admirably for almost 40 years before ultimately being replaced by the now standard double deck stainless steel interurban cars.
Each carriage had seating for 64 passengers with a centre aisle down the length of the car, and separate male and female toilets at one end. First Class cars (coded ‘ETB’) had carpeted floors and blue covered seats. Second Class cars (coded ‘TF’) had green covered seats. The cars each weigh in at just over 30 tonnes, are 20 metres long and almost 3 metres wide.
These cars were formed into four, six, eight and ten car sets. The sets were classified as ‘U’ sets and were commonly referred to as ‘U’ boats.
GMR took delivery of its six ‘U Boats’ at Glenreagh West on 23 October, 1998. Restoration work is well advanced on a number of these carriages. They will be the mainstay of locomotive- hauled passenger services on the Glenreagh Mountain Railway for many years to come. They are also entirely suitable for main line running. One car has had a buffet section added since coming to GMR.
GMR’s fleet of these highly functional carriages is as follows: