TA06: VR Suburban Tait Electric Trains

Victorian Railways
Melbourne Suburban Electric Tait Trains

Released 25 October 2010

TA06_slick.jpg - 56kb

The pack encompasses the complete era of the "Tait" suburban electric trains, ranging from pre-electrification steam-hauled carriages to the final years of their faithful service on the VR: the pack contains examples of the following Tait "eras" (Click on the images for a larger view):

  • 1910-1919 - Chocolate with Straw lining. Pre-electrification trailers. There are three types, AP, BP and BCP, the first two being standard trailers and the third one being what would later become the Ringer.

    TA Tait 1910 era livery pre-electrification

    TA Tait 1910 era livery pre-electrification


  • 1919-1921 - Chocolate with Straw lining. The early electrics: These are different from the pre-electrification 1910 set in that they were numbered from AP/BP/BCP trailers to AT/BT trailers and ACPM/BCPM motors, before being reclassified as M, T etc in 1921.

    TA Tait 1919 era livery - 72ACPM

    TA Tait 1919 era livery - 42BCPM


  • 1925-1936 - The chocolate paint on the early cars faded over time, and changed to a purplish hue. Automotive-type enamel paint was first used in 1936 with the bright Rose Red and Moonstone Grey scheme, but the chocolate scheme had long since passed its prime by the then. It would appear that the straw lining was painted out as a wartime economy measure, and the cars were pretty drab by the late 20s. The earlier numbering scheme was replaced with the familiar M, D, T and G classifications, and photographic evidence would suggest that the new numbers were painted over a black panel which covered the earlier numbers.

    TA Tait 1920s era livery - 276M


  • 1936-1956 - Rose Red and Moonstone Grey livery.

    TA Tait 1936-56 era livery

    TA Tait 1936-56 era livery

    This era also included the spectacularly painted Boat Train.

    The Boat Train was introduced by the VR Commissioners in 1936 to meet ocean liners at Port Melbourne. It was advertised in the shipping notices as leaving Flinders St to meet each big ship as it arrived in port. Patronage was disappointing and it was withdrawn in 1939 with the outbreak of war. The cars were returned to standard condition and served many more years before withdrawal in the seventies. This set is as the train was in 1938.

    TA Tait Boat Train

    TA Tait Boat Train

    This era also saw planning for the Harris car set. 201BT (see below) was built in 1950 as a test vehicle for features which would find their way into the Harris cars. An open saloon layout with three sets of sliding doors, greater standee room near the doors and fewer doors, it was a way of testing the layout which would become the norm. It was trialled extensively throughout the system and announced with fanfare as 'a view of things to come.' The style of carriage introduced with 201BT has been used on all Melbourne single-deck suburban electric trains since, and is still used today. This one car brought about a new era of suburban rail travel. The car was the only one built and was preserved after withdrawal from use in the 1970s.

    Harris car test vehicle


  • 1956-1971 - Bright red livery - class details removed. New pantographs and bogies. Clerestory windows panelled over, Flettner ventilators added. First and Second Class signs now removed.

    TA Tait 1956-71 era livery


  • 1971-1978 - Bright red livery - alternating saloon windows panelled over.

    Includes the double-ended motor - 470M

    TA Tait Double-Ended Motor


  • 1978-1981 - Faded red livery.

    TA Tait Late 70s faded


  • 1981-1985 - Final years of the Taits - Bright red repainted livery - numbers only, Smoking now banned on trains, so signs now removed.

    TA Tait Final Years

    Within this group will also be the greaser car. Converted in the 80s, it started being run between Tait motors (usually 1470M and 1471M, which were double-ended units renumbered after Comengs took their original numbers). The greaser was later run between converted Harris cars, then Y and T class diesel locos (with D vans used as transitional coupling units). It was withdrawn in 2003.

    TA Tait Greaser


  • Cabview for all the Taits will include animated handles and gauges.

    TA Tait Cab view


Recommended Retail Price
$45.00 (including GST)