LFA 179 end loading platform American suburban Car

About the exhibit

Operational exhibit (only accessible when Valley Heights Mixed on scheduled open days)

The LFA was condemned in 1974 and transferred to the NSW Rail Transport Museum’s collection. It was transferred to the Steam Tram and Railway Preservation (Co-op) Society on 24 November 2008. To prepare the carriage for service, it was necessary to withdraw, examine and test the drawhooks, bogies and other items for fatigue cracks before executing any repairs. The examination included the air brake system.

The car began regular service on the Valley Heights Mixed in 2015. It was repainted in the tuscan and russet colour scheme in late 2017.


Steam Tram and Railway Preservation (Co-op) Society trading as Valley Heights Steam Tramway


The carriage appears to have been built 1890/91 by Morrison Brothers for the NSW Government Railways. It first entered service on 17 July 1891. It is centre-aisled with turnover seating.

A lavatory is installed at one end. The car was once part of set 10. Not a lot is revealed from the Railways history card other than the usual record of overhaul maintenance. The lavatory may have been installed during the early 1930s for traffic to the outer regions of Newcastle. The car’s latter day service centred on the Illawarra region.

Second-Class American Car LFA 179 has heritage significance as one of the relatively few surviving examples of the American-style end-platform cars of the late nineteenth century, a common form of railway passenger vehicle on the NSW railway system. It illustrates the adoption of American design and construction techniques by the NSW Railways and demonstrates the use of late nineteenth century features of carriage construction in its materials and design, particularly the use of timber for carriage underframes, into the early years of the twentieth century. It has performed as part of the early and mid-twentieth century suburban and tourist railway services in NSW and has strong period aesthetic qualities.

End platform cars were used in outer suburban, Newcastle and Wollongong services until the 1970s.

TSet 10 which had four cars from 1963 to 1974: HFA 1032, LFA 179, LFA 298, HFA 295 


This car is not heritage listed. Similar LFA cars are listed on the NSW Heritage register:


LFA 157 has a timber body with a two-truss timber underframe sheathed with masonite. Riding on two steel, timber spring-plank 2SB bogies with 8" x 4" plain journal bearings, oil filled axle-boxes and mixture of 1 spoked, 1 disc wheels with four holes and 2 plain discs wheeled axles. The vehicle is fitted with Westinghouse air braking system, consisting of a 3½ inch (Bulb) triple valve and 12 inch brake cylinder acting on brake rigging to apply two brake shoes located on the outside of each axle. The vehicle is fitted with short linked couplings and buffers. There are two steel framed timber battery boxes hung from the underframe as well as an electrical distribution board and belt driven 24 V generator.

More information and photos

New South Wales American Suburban carriage stock, Wikipedia, accessed 2020-11-24