W workmens sleepers

Number in Class 247 (1976 total)
Number group 1 - 468
Construction period
In service 1910 - late 1970's
Where built various
  General arrangement
By the late 1970's there were three distinct types of 4 wheel workmens sleepers.
W 1, shown above, was a purpose built sleeper type that started appearing in 1910.
W 235, shown below, was a redundant 4 wheel passenger car that was cascaded into Way & Works service when its revenue days were over
W 442, shown bottom, was a bogie passenger car that was chopped up and placed onto a 4 wheel underframe.

In service they were a 4 wheel version of the WW workmens sleeper. They were used to house railway employees at wherever they were working. Railway employees usually called them "Bughuts"

A W undergoes conversion from an unknown passenger carriage at Newport workshops, 1960
Official VR photo, M 7030



ABOVE: W 70 at Geelong, Sept 17 1978

ABOVE: W 72 at Ouyen Jan. 14 1978.


ABOVE: W 91 at Echuca July 8 1978

ABOVE: W 103 at Ararat 1978

ABOVE: W 110, built as WS 112, 4/1909, recoded/numbered 1910 when this photo was probably taken.

BELOW: W 110 in 1978.

ABOVE: W 110 at Bendigo July 8 1978.
built new (as WS 112) 1919, new underframe ex IA 12068, autocoupled 1957


ABOVE: W 116 dates from 1885, built as an E it became W 116 in 1917
Photo Courtesy Geoff Winkler at Ararat April 1979


ABOVE: at Ararat July 29 1978.

ABOVE: W 152 cica 1978

W 171 photographed circa 1920, built as B 258 circa 1884, it went to a BH, YH and finally to W 171 in 191, scrapped 1936.
PRO photo.

ABOVE: W 182 at Ararat July 29 1978
Built new 1914 circa 1957 it was placed on the underframe from IA 12344and autocoupled.
This would make a good modelling project with the replacement boards.

ABOVE: W 184 built new 1914, new underframe from an I) and autocoupled 1957
Photo courtesy Geoff Winkler 1978.



ABOVE: W 186 at Melb. yard June 3 1978

ABOVE: W 196. Photo at Ararat July 29 1978
built new 1914, 1957 it recieved the underframe from IA 14453and autocoupled

ABOVE: W 203 at Ararat July 2 1978
built new Sept. 1914, new underframe autocoupled and wired for electricity March 1958

ABOVE: W 235 at Geelong Sept. 17 1978.
Built new 1883 as a AB, the B, then YH and finally to W 235 in 1937
New underframe and autocoupled 1958.
BELOW, photo courtesy Geoff Winkler

ABOVE: W 238 was built as an AB 107 in 1883, to B then Y then to W 238 in 1924
photo 1979.

W 256 at Ouyen Jan 14 1978


W 257 pjv


ABOVE: W 298 at Ouyen Jan. 14 1978

ABOVE: W 299 at Ararat Aug. 27 1978

ABOVE: W 300 at Sale Nov. 1980
photo courtesy Peter J. Vincent


W 301 pjv

ABOVE: W 303 at Melb. yard June 3 1978


ABOVE: W 309 at Ararat July 29 1978

ABOVE: W 312 stencilled for weighbridge fitters use, Tottenham, July 1979
Photo courtesy Rob O'Regan

W 312 was built new April 1928, note the strengthened ends

BELOW: W 312 at Benalla Feb. 21 1978
Photo courtesy Geoff Winkler


ABOVE: W 315 at Ouyen Jan. 14 1978
BELOW: W 315 late 1970's
Photo courtesy Peter J. Vincent.

ABOVE: W 324 late 1970's
Photo courtesy Peter J. Vincent.



ABOVE: W 331 at Ouyen Jan. 14 1978


ABOVE: W 335 at Woodend, 1978


ABOVE: W 341, circa 1979
Photo courtesy Peter J Vincent



ABOVE: W 355 at Seymour Nov. 25 1978

ABOVE: W 363 at Seymour Nov. 25 1978


ABOVE: W 365 at Woodend March 28 1978.

ABOVE: W 365 late 1970's, photo courtesy Peter J. Vincent.

ABOVE: W 367 at Ouyen Jan. 14 1978.
built April 1937

ABOVE: W 372 at Jolimont workshops June 1982
photo courtesy Peter J. Vincent.



ABOVE: W 381 at Ballarat May 13 1978.


ABOVE: W 394 at Ouyen Jan. 14 1978

W 398 wink


ABOVE: W 403 at Ballarat May 13 1978
built new Oct. 1943. Photographed in 1978. Note the wood jammed through the spoke of the wheel
The white square to the left of 403 indicated the vehicle had a through brake pipe but no operating air brake.

The group 404 - 418 were built in 1945 after a pause in construction from the group ending at 403.
They differ from earlier W's having two end windows instead of one.


ABOVE & BELOW: W 406 at Castlemaine March 23 1978


ABOVE: W 410 circa 1978


ABOVE: W 411 at Ararat Aug. 27 1978, built new June 1945.

ABOVE: W 414 at Lang Lang March 1980
photo courtesy Peter J. Vincent

ABOVE: W 416 was built new in 1945

ABOVE: W 417 at Wodonga Feb 1978
photo courtesy Rob O'Regan

ABOVE: interior view of a W.


The following W's are shown as "built new" in the 1950's. In actuality they were bogie vehicles chopped into shorter sections and placed on reclaimed underframes. At this stage the best evidence suggests they were converted from B country cars and T suburban cars. In 1956 the introduction of Harris suburban cars saw the "scrapping" of suburban swing door cars and this is where the T cars would have come from.

The following info is quoted directly from a 1958 VR Newsletter

Workmen's sleepers with screw couplers are being converted for auto coupling. This is being achieved by transferring bodies to I wagon underframes, which are already fitted with automatic couplers. Condemed bodies of I wagons are being removed, and the underframes suitably altered for the workmen's sleepers.

To provide 80 smaller 2-man workmen's sleepers, the bodies of condemned A, B, M and T swing door cars are to be cut in half and the structures utilized for the conversion

ABOVE: W 421looks like it has just been "built" it was issued to service Aug. 1958
Official VR photo



ABOVE: W 427 at Dandenong Feb. 1978
converted April 1959.


ABOVE: W 435 at Dandenong Feb. 1978.


ABOVE: W 436 at Ballarat workshops May 18 1978

ABOVE: W 442 at Ararat Aug. 27 1978



ABOVE & BELOW: W 443 at Ouyen Jan. 14 1978.

w443 end


ABOVE: W 444 late 1970's
Photo courtesy Peter J. Vincent.

ABOVE & BELOW: W 446 at Ouyen Jan. 14 1978


ABOVE: W 451 at Woodend March 23 1978


ABOVE: W 457 at Ballarat May 13 1978.

ABOVE: W 461 at Ouyen Jan. 14 1978


ABOVE: W 467 at Ouyen Jan. 14 1978

BELOW: Closeup of a torpedo vent found on many W's.