The Type 40 Saloon were a popular line for Wickham, selling extensively around the world. Including a couple into Canada. This model was in production (as the updated Type 42) right up until the end of Wickham in 1991.
Western Australia was the home to the greatest number of the Type 40, with a grand total of 3 cars being built for the two big operators of the time, and one in the late 1960's for a private railway.
The Midland Railway Company of Western Australia (MRWA) was the first company to import the saloons into WA, with their car being ordered in December 13, 1945, and shipped ex Ware November 1, 1946.
The Western Australian Government Railways (WAGR) followed a little later, ordering two units on May 12, 1949, with the cars leaving Ware on the 6th of July 1950.
The only differences between the WAGR and MRWA cars were minor fittings to the motor, a "special bumper bar" fitted to the MRWA cars, exterior cladding on the WAGR car was wood and the paint scheme.
MRWA cars were painted Brown below the waist rail, and cream above, whereas the WAGR cars were painted in red and white, as above, or cream roofed, and painted Brunswick Green.
With the purchase of the MRWA by the Government, the two Wickhams were merged into the WAGR fleet. Two survive, having been saved in the late 1970's, in use from time to time on the Kalgoorlie Loopline Railway. One of these was originally transferred to the Pinjarra Hills and Steam Railway Preservation Society, later Hotham Valley Railway, through a mix-up within WAGR.
The other Type 40 Saloon was owned by Mount Newman Mines.
The photo above shows one ofthe WAGR Wickhams, 478, sitting in the Perth Central Railway Station on 5 June 1966. Thanks to, and used with the permission of, Andrew Godfrey and the Weston Langford Estate.
Developed March 20, 2004 Uploaded April 20, 2004, Updated 11 April 2014
© Nic Doncaster