Commissioner W.A. Webb arrived from from the US in 1926 and immediately set about
revitalising the SA Railways. The first Brill car he ordered was built in J.G. Brill’s
the US and entered service in South Australia in August 1926. All the remaining cars were built
at the SAR’s Islington workshops. By 1930 some 50 broad gauge cars and trailers, and 12 narrow
gauge cars and trailers had been supplied.
Originally painted overall brown, the colour scheme became green and cream by 1936, with the
distinctive illuminated “Day-Glo” safety stripes below the end windows fitted to many cars from
1957. The original motive power was a “Winton” petrol engine, with “GardNer” and “Cummins”
diesels being retrofitted to various cars from 1937 onwards. At the same time, remote control
facilities were introduced to allow four-car sets (2 power cars, 2 trailers) to be coupled
The first retirements coincided with the arrival of the modern “Bluebird” railcars on
lines in 1954 and the suburban “Red Hen” cars in 1955 By 1969 the era of the 75 class had
effectively come to an end, with only occasional trips run on the Tailem Bend and Victor Harbor
lines and a car continuing to provide the local service between Strathalbyn and Milang until
that line closed 1970. The last revenue trip ran from Adelaide to Victor Harbor in October
AN converted many of the cars to camp cars in the early 70s. When these became redundant in
the late 80s SteamRanger acquired two of the converted trailer cars, 207 and 211. A small group
of Goolwa based volunteers coordinated by Phil Neville then commenced the daunting task
recreating a representative power car from trailer 207. A GardNer diesel engine was installed
in the baggage compartment and the bodywork, windows, and seating replaced or extensively
refurbished. The body frame was strengthened and electrical and control systems upgraded.
After 6000 hours of voluntary effort the car emerged in early 2001 as Car 60. The
cost of restoration was over $50,000.
The car operates as an interesting historic attraction on selected services between Strathalbyn,
Goolwa and Victor Harbor.
Keith and Ken Wastell with the newly
installed GardNer diesel
A bit of rust on the end platform
(Phil Neville and Keith Wastell)
Celebrations after the first trial run to Mt Barker
Team Leader Phil Neville,
Rolling Stock Inspector Don Dunkerley,
Ken Wastell, Loco Manager Ian Johnston and Stephen