Rowan Steam Car / ABDL

The Rowan steam car was the start of railcar operation in Victoria. The car entered service in 1883. The power plant was built in England and the car designed by W.R. Rowan of Copenhagen.

The car was a combination steam engine, drivers cabin and passenger compartment to to seat 40 people. This car was number 1.

At a later date a steam motor was built to haul a six wheel carriage. This motor was built from parts purchased with the original car. This may have been about 1888. This became car number 2. Car _B__ 243 was dismantled in 1892 for reconstruction as a trailer car.

In 1892 the cars were rebuilt, car 1 being fitted with a booking office.

Both cars were out of service and sold in 1904.

The official Registers have this information under the page headed "ABDL". The author is intrigued by the fact that there is no information before the 1892 entries. It appears that up until this date the cars were classed as locomotives and records kept elsewhere. With the rebuilding in 1892, the cars were transferred to "Passenger" stock and classed as "ABDL" until scrapped.

Some new information suggests that the original car became No.2 and the motor built from spares became No.1.

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File c360m compiled by Peter J. Vincent, updated 20/10/2007