ABOVE: AX 8 at Spencer St, April 22 1978. AXs in MotoRail service were equipped with tail lights and tail discs.
This class totalled 22. Built at Nth Melbourne workshops as AA class, numbers 1 - 14 were built from reused carriage underframes and fitted with steam loco tender bogies. It appears that AA 1 was originally built without side panels and was equipped with them later. In 1961 they were fitted with roller bearing bogies and re-coded to AF, and then to AX 1963 - 1965.
In the late 60s - early 70s the entire class was fitted with new underframes. (Correspondence exists regarding the AX wagons that relates to rebuilding of underframes at Ballarat Workshops 1969-70 that includes AX 22 (13/11/1970) and AX 15 (22/7/1970) both stating: Owing to poor condition of AX. it has been decided to rebuild the underframes at Ballarat Workshops in accordance with drawings AX 10835 and .1 - .13 and 108537.1 - .2. The Workshops Manager, Ballarat is to arrange for the manufacture of the centre sill and outriggers, fabricated front and back stops and the re-assembly with the existing body. Earlier correspondence identifies that the light weight underframes were under duress when at the front of 40 vehicle trains to South Australia.
By the late 70's there were several AX's in dedicated Motorail transport where a passenger on the Vinelander could take their car with them, in this service they were painted VR royal blue, the rest of the class were in general finished automobile transport between Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide. 8 cars could be carried.
ABOVE: AX 17 at Mildura 1971. photo courtesy Bruce McLean
ABOVE: AX 20 at Mildura, May 29 1977, photo courtesy Bruce McLean
ABOVE: Prior to the introduction of MotoRail on the Vinelander we see AX 8 being loaded with a car as a test at Mildura. Aug 6 1968. official VR photo courtesy Bruce McLean
ABOVE & BELOW: AX 8 being loaded at Mildura, circa early 1970s. photo courtesy Phil Jeffery
ABOVE: Looks like the finishing touches are being applied to AA 2 probably at Nth Melb workshops, circa 1958.
ABOVE & BELOW, In 1961 the class was fitted with roller bearing bogies and re-classed as AF, they were also equipped with grade control at this time, signified by the circle on the numberboard. AF's 6 and 20 at Sth Dynon bogie exchange, April 1963 Official VR photos
ABOVE: AA 1 was issued to traffic July 1958 which is probably when this photo was taken. BELOW: AA 2 did not appear until 2 years later being issued to traffic July 1960. It would appear that AA 1 was a test as it was the only AA not to have panel sides. The steam loco tender bogies and passenger car underframes meant that they probably didn't cost the VR too much money to construct. Both photos courtesy PROV.
ABOVE & BELOW: AA 3 as built in 1960, they were re-coded to AF not long after their introduction.
ABOVE: VMAP 10 in the garish V/Line tangerine scheme at Mildura. In later years the ones in MotoRail traffic got aligned bogies as seen here, the MotoRail ones also went through a few re-codings (AX - VMAX - VMAY - VMPY - VMAP) Aug 17 1985. photo courtesy Bruce McLean
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