Want something different to show off to your friends? Ask anyone that you know I’m going to buy myself an old rail car for sale and they will most likely reply, are you nuts?
Old train carriages are always intriguing, not only when in full operational daily use for transporting passengers but long after they have been taken off the tracks and decommissioned. No matter whether you’re overseas or in Australia, an old train carriage in the yard will always make an interesting talking point. These carriages might have been part of the train service from Melbourne to Sydney that you once took, but demand continues, long after they’ve stopped running on tracks.
This article outlines an upcoming auction of old train carriages for sale in Australia by Auction house Slattery Auctions as well as some other options on locating carriages for sale. The sale is part of an auction by the Canberra Railway Museum which has been forced to sell off the carriages.
No doubt with the sale will go Canberra’s rail history. The collection will be broken up. The Railway Museum based in Kingston was forced to close after falling into debt of around $500,000. It was reportedly costing $3 million dollars a year to maintain the train engines and run the systems. You can read more about the Railway Museum here. The Australian newspaper also ran a story on the Canberra Auction.
You can buy decommissioned train carriages whether they be the standard suburban train service, intrastate systems such as old country link or carriages that once connected the capital cities around Australia. It’s just a matter of keeping an eye out for when these auctions come up.
There is something nostalgic about an old rattler. Some of the older carriages offer a unique style and talking point. There is a particular collector out there who wants to buy and make use of a retired wagon. Perhaps an old red rattler from Melbourne or a used vintage carriage to be used as a showpiece on a rural property or even converted for accommodation. I have visited houses where the rail carriage has simply been joined to an existing home and looked a showpiece added to the home.
Ex Melbourne trams also are keenly sought after, and we will be writing more on where to buy trams in other feature articles on our site.
The Victorian Government brought back some old carriages it sold in 2002 spending $100,000 on carriages it had scrapped. These 35-year-old carriages were sold by the Victorian government initially for around $2,500 per carriage.
If you are a rail buff or love rail holidays beyond a journey through South Australia on the Ghan, you could check out international train travel ideas and itineraries on the well-documented site of seat61.com. Seat61 will give you one mans experience of many train journeys around the world including timetables, costs and routes for many different countries.
So where can you buy old train carriages in Australia?
Buy used train carriages at auction.
There are auction houses around Australia that, from time to time have used train carriages for sale on their books.
Slattery Auctions through their ACT office are having a sale of train carriages. These including vintage railway carriages for sale dated as far back as early 1900’s. Many need restoration and many items appeared to have had graffiti damage.
There are old train carriages for sale in the Kingston, ACT area. Bidding for these carriages opened on 2 August 2017. Bidding includes GST, and there is also online bidding. You can read more about the auction of these carriages.
If you were chasing an old “red rattler” train carriage for sale then here is an opportunity.
Important to note with this auction is a buyers premium of 11% including GST. Full payment if you are the winning bidder for a train carriage being sold by Slattery Auctions is by 4 pm on the day of the auction. Payment method can be through cash, EFTPOS, cheque or credit card although they do charge an extra 2 percent fee for VISA or Mastercard purchases. There is a late payment levy also of 1 percent to be aware.
At the time of writing, Inspection of the rail carriages for sale was on Tuesday 1st August from 9 am to 4 pm AEST and from 08:30 am on the day of the auction.
You can read more on the above link about the online auction bidding “how to” for Slattery Auctions.
What was on offer at the auction?
- Heres a sample of what is being sold. There are other carriages, bogies, bits and pieces not mentioned below:
- A 1937 Dance / Disco carriage. The disco name the carriages past use, photographs appear to show that it was used as a disco train and was being sold complete with a mirror ball.
- A 1939 14 berth twinette sleeper carriage.
- 1905 “Amercian type” tourist rail carriage.
- A couple of 1908 American type tourist rail carriage.
- 1905 American model used tourist carriage.
- 1962 Southern Aurora Luggage carriage.
- A choice of 1961 to 1963 20 berths twinette sleeping rail carriage complete with graffiti.
- 1971 used passenger carriage – 20 berth twinette sleeper carriage.
- General goods carriage carts circa 1960s.
- Bogie 8 wheel flat top wagons with some going back to 1912, i.e., 3 x 4 wheel open wagons available.
- A 4 wheel fuel tanker carrier with 10,000 litres capacity.
- Some carriages in a fair to poor condition and other 1930s circa make and model.
- 1936 18 seaters first class carriage.
- 1953 steel brake carriage
- 1968 parcels wooden railway carriage.
- Various bogies.
- An old 1966 1800HP diesel-electric locomotive for sale.
- An old 1914 steam locomotive for sale which needs restoring.
- 1926 – 20 berth twinette sleeping carriage
- 1919 – 32 seat day/night steel carriage complete with graffiti and in need of restoration.
- There is a 1950 48 seat day and night carriage also available.
- 1949 – 48 seater day and nighter carriage.
- 1963 – railroad cars i.e., Bogie fuel tanker.
- 1945 and a 1949 Bogie refrigerated van carriage.
- Bogie fuel tankers circa the 1960s.
- Many of the items are in need of restoration or repairs, especially to remove graffiti. There are numerous, and related items not mentioned in the list above that are also being auctioned.
Used railway equipment will also be available for sale including scrap and bits and pieces such as train parts, track gear, railway signalling equipment, track laying equipment, train coupler jacks, bogies, railroad signals and masts. You might like also point levers, assorted hydraulic jacks, railway lines, scrap, generators, old under car air conditioning units, signal gear, etc. and may be detailed in another post.
Contact: Glendon Burton on telephone number is – Ph: 0488 555768
and email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Other auction houses would handle train carriages for sale.
Here are some auctions of the above railway carriages being sold by Slattery Auctions.
Note – Photographs are also from the Slattery Auctions website unless otherwise mentioned.
Many of the leading plant and machinery auctioneers would from time to time get stock. It’s just a matter of keeping an eye out and registering for their newsletter.
Manheim Auctions, for example, were selling Queensland Rail carriages in March 2016. This sale comprised 40 “M” class sleeper carriages. There was a First class, economy class sleeper carriages as well as baggage car, staff car, power and buffet cars for sale.
These were being sold from the Queensland Rail Heritage workshops in North Ipswich, Queensland. Ipswich is a town within an easy 1hour from the Brisbane CBD. The sale would be well and truly finished but just for the record the Maheim staffers handling this sale of the ex-Queensland Rail carriages were:
Contact: Sandra Hammond T: + 61 7 3868 9986 M: +61 409 560 210 E: email@example.com
Contact: Alex Leahy T: + 61 7 3868 9969 M: + 61 478 310 742 E: firstname.lastname@example.org
Gumtree – If you are looking for other outlets for old train carriages for sale then you could try. A quick check of gumtree for example at the time of writing this piece revealed some interesting finds. A burnt-out train carriage in the Penrith and another in Orange, New South Wales areas. Both at “negotiable” prices.
eBay may be another place to look. There were a couple of listings of old carriages in a reasonable condition being advertised on eBay, and the sellers were asking with a buy it now price of as much as $8,000 to $10,000 each for these carriages.
Dealers such as Australian Train Movers is a website with old rail carriages offered for sale. There were units located in locations around NSW and Toowoomba in Queensland. Prices currently advertised were between $12,000 and $30,000. Heres an interesting story on train graveyards.
Railway discussion forums are worth looking at too. You could check a great website called Railpage.
After purchase, your next biggest challenge is getting the new carriage home.