'Dolly Varden' Brakevans

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Class 7550
Vehicle type Bogie composite goods brakevan
First introduced 1938
To Port Lincoln 1938
Ex Port Lincoln 1983
Load capacity 6 tons, 9 passengers
Number on Eyre Peninsula 3
Vehicle number 7550-7552

These were the first all-steel goods brakes built for SAR narrow gauge, and they gained the nickname 'Dolly Varden' because they were regarded as glamorous (they were when compared to their predecessors, at least). Their layout differed from the previous standard goods brakes in that passenger accommodation was in a single large compartment at one end, accessed via an end platform. This arrangement was perpetuated in the later CGN vans.

Four of these vehicles (7550-7553) were built in 1938. Two (7550 and 7551) were sent new to Port Lincoln, but four years later they were reassigned to the Peterborough Division. 7552 began its working life in the South East, but in 1959 it was sent to Port Lincoln where it remained until condemned in 1982. It went to Pichi Richi in January 1983.

7550. New to Port Lincoln 28 Aug 1938. To Peterborough Aug 1942.

7551. New to Port Lincoln 20 Aug 1938. To Peterborough c.1942.

7552. Built 1938. To Port Lincoln 17 Jul 1959. Passenger seats removed by 1970s. Condemned 19 Aug 1982. To Pichi Richi 11 Jan 1983.

7552 at Port Lincoln in 1970. Photo: Peter Knife

7552 at Port Lincoln in 1975. Note that half of the passenger compartment windows and the windows in the freight compartment doors have been removed since the photo above. Photo: Jeff Moonie