Conservation Management Plan for Eveleigh Railway Workshops (Large Erecting Shop)Steam Locomotive 3526Werris Creek Station
Office of Rail Heritage – Projects - Ca$h On Track, The Story of the Rail Pay Bus
First Fleet

The first fleet of rail buses was based at Cowra and Harden, providing twice daily services between Cowra and Grenfell, and Harden to Young, Galong and Boorowa. Within a year of their introduction they were withdrawn having failed to attract sufficient passenger numbers to make the services viable.

By June 1939, five of the rail buses had been relaunched as mobile pay cars, while the sixth remained a rail bus until some time later. This first generation of Pay Buses remained in operation until they were retired from service in 1968.

Only one of the original fleet - FP1, the first Pay Bus, survives today.

The first 30 years - see how the paybuses evolve between 1938 and 1968

First Fleet FP1 - Rail bus 1937 -1938, Pay Bus 1938-1968
First Fleet FP2 -Rail bus entered service 1937, Pay Bus 1942-1968
First Fleet FP3 Rail bus 1937-1939, Pay Bus 1939 -1970
First Fleet FP4 Rail bus 1937-1938, Pay Bus 1939-1967
First Fleet FP5 (1) Rail bus 1937-1938, Pay Bus 1939 -1941
First Fleet FP5 (2) Pay Bus 1945 -1968

Rail Pay Bus Exterior


First Fleet FP1
Rail bus 1937 -1938, Pay Bus 1938-1968

FP1 entered service 7 July 1937 as a rail bus, but was modified the following year as the first Pay Bus. The original colour scheme was green with distinctive sweeping curves in cream over the wheel arches and a cream flash under the window. It featured twin headlights, round marker lights, a plain roof without air horns.

Entry to the car was via a centrally located sliding door and the driver sat on the right hand side near the engine. The sole survivor of the first fleet, FP1, was relocated to the Rail Heritage Centre at Thirlmere in 1969. In 2007 it was moved to the Annexe at Eveleigh Workshops in preparation for restoration.

Photo State Records NSW

First Fleet FP1

First Fleet FP2
Rail bus entered service 1937, Pay Bus 1942-1968

FP2 entered service at Harden in September 1937 and remained in service as a rail bus seating 18 passengers, returning temporarily to Sydney from Harden for repairs in 1940. Shown here at Narribri in 1942, FP2 has a simplified green/cream livery. FP2 was withdrawn from service in 1968 and replaced by FP10, before being scrapped in December 1970.

Photo C C Singeton, reproduced courtesy of Eveleigh Press

First Fleet FP2

First Fleet FP3
Rail bus 1937-1939, Pay Bus 1939 -1970

FP3 entered service at Cowra in September 1937 but returned to Sydney when the Cowra-Grenfell passenger service was discontinued in May 1939. The following year it was involved in a collision with steam engine 3340 and was repaired by Waddington. For 23 years it ran without incident but was replaced by FP7 in 1968. It served as a standby vehicle for a year, until it was scrapped in December 1970. Here it is shown in its two tone green/cream livery, the cream colour sweeping down at the front to the bottom of the grille.

Photo State Records NSW

First Fleet FP3

First Fleet FP4
Rail bus 1937-1938, Pay Bus 1939-1967

FP4 entered service at Cowra in September 1937 and was overhauled in April 1938 having travelled over 38,000 kms. It then returned to Sydney in 1939 for a refit as a Pay Bus. In 1965 it was lent to the Way and Works Branch for track inspection in northern NSW. In 1967 it was withdrawn from service due to a fractured chassis and stored as surplus until FP11 entered service in 1968. In December 1970, it was scrapped.

Photo State Records NSW

First Fleet FP4

First Fleet FP5 (1)
Rail bus 1937-1938, Pay Bus 1939 -1941

The first FP5 entered service in 1937 as a rail bus but was subsequently converted into a Pay Bus in 1939. It is seen here at Cootamundra, shortly after commissioning. This Pay Bus was destroyed in the explosion associated with the attempted robbery at Yanderra on 8 December 1941. The following year it was written off.

Photo ARHS NSW Division

First Fleet FP5 (1)

First Fleet FP5 (2)
Pay Bus 1945 -1968

The second FP5 was built to replace FP5 (1), which had been destroyed in the Yanderra robbery, and was introduced into service in 1945. Like FP4 and 6, it was fitted with a canopy double roof in 1947 for better insulation.

This Pay Bus suffered major accident damage to its front in a derailment at a level crossing accident on the Griffith-Goolgowie section of track in 1963.

FP5(2) was replaced by FP12 in 1968, and scrapped in 1970.

Photo Parkes Historical Society

First Fleet FP5 (2)

First Fleet FP6
Rail bus 1937-1938, Pay Bus 1939 -1968

FP6 suffered accident damage in a derailment at Mittagong in 1942, and in 1964, the front chassis broke beyond repair at Sayer's Lake. FP6 was replaced by FP9 in 1968, was subsequently condemned then scrapped in 1970. Seen here at Parkes in 1956, FP6 has its new Indian Red and chrome yellow line livery, a roof canopy and sun visor and a non-standard mesh insect screen.

Photo Noel Reed, reproduced courtesy Eveleigh Press

First Fleet FP6


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