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LOUNGE CAR 708 HISTORY

Car 708 is one of a batch of twenty built at the Islington Works of the South Australian Railways between 1940 and 1942. The cars were classified as "second class end loading vestibule country cars" with a total of 56 seats in pairs on either side of a central aisle. The carriage entered service in June 1941. It was transferred to Australian National Railways when they took over South Australian passenger rail services in 1978 and withdrawn from service on 13 October 1981.

In December 1981 the carriage was sold to Steamage Australia (Victoria) and in 1987 passed to Australian Vintage Travel for conversion at the Newport Steamrail workshop to club car "Wellington" for use on the short lived "Southern Cross Express". The car was then sold to Northern Rivers Railway in NSW in December 1989. In 1999 it was named the "Cape Byron Club Car" for use on Northern Rivers "Ritz Rail" train between Murwillumbah and Byron Bay. Following the buyout of Northern Rivers by Queensland Rail the car was purchased by a private consortium that fell into receivership. The car was subsequently moved to Parkes where it was auctioned and purchased privately by a member of 707 Operations. It was moved to 707 Operations at Newport in January 2012.

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Lounge Car 708 at Newport on 03 February 2013. Photograph John Green.

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"Art Deco" Interior of Lounge Car 708. Photograph John Green

Minor remedial work has been completed and broad gauge bogies and end gangway concertinas have been fitted. The carriage was used for the first time on 707 Operations 2013 mainline trips on the double-diesel hauled trip to Donald on 20 April 2013.

The lounge car's spectacular "Art Deco" interior with separate bar and food serving areas and grouped seating make this an ideal venue for private partry hire. The car will seat up to 30 passengers with a recommended comfortable maximum of 25.

Last Updated: 16 September 2013.

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