South Australian Railways Motor Inspection Car (MIC)
The SAR had a long history of running MICs. Morris's, Dorts, Bedfords and of course these Landcruisers.
At the height of Australian Nationals Scrap and Burn campaign, this fine vehicle got the boot. Seen here at a wreckers yard. The motor being almost new. This one being MIC9.
MIC9 was modified at Islington Workshops in 1969 for the Commonwealth Railways. She was issued to Port Lincoln by the Australian National Railways on 30 October 1979. She was scrapped mid 1985.
I know of at least two others on the narrow gauge of the Eyre Peninsula, both scrapped for a song for their motors.
MIC 11 is one of the lucky MICs to survive. More interestingly, there is data to support some of her working life.
Both MIC9 and 11 are Toyota LandCruiser FJ55 Wagons. They were built in the period between 1969 and 1974. For 11, I could not find any clear markings to determine her build date.
The log book (in 11) does not note anything prior to 1978, but it probably went missing - there is also some confusion as to the status of the car being a road vehicle initially, or being a rail based vehicle from day one. My instinct suggests that the SAR bought the vehicle and mounted it on standard gauge - along with MIC7, and in 1978, after the take over by Australian National Railways, it was sent to Cook, on the Nullarbor Plain.
It appears to have spent most of its life at Cook, with lots of entries in the log for "tests". Most are noted as 1-2 kilometres, but some are a bit longer.
The last entry in the book was made May 19, 1988 for a "test". It would have been not long after that she was involved in a prang, and subsequently was retired.
Australian National donated her to the National Motor Museum at Birdwood, who in turn gave her to YPRail. Mid 2005 she was sold to a private collector.
She was probably one of the last MICs in service with Australian National.
The Section Car Page
Uploaded August 4, 2003 Updated September 1, 2007
© Nic Doncaster 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007