Jump to content

"Spirit of Progress' a new Australian cruise train.


Recommended Posts


On 31st. March a cruise train, named 'Spirit of Progress' will leave Melbourne for Sydney and other places

"Spirit of Progress' is a famous name in Australia's railway history , particulary for the Victorian Railways.

The Melbourne-Sydney was always the most important rail route in Australia, but was bedevilled by the necessity to change from the Victorian broad gauge train to the std. gauge NSW train at Albury, on the States border.

The VR Board decided to do something to improve this service, so in 1937 they introduced a new high class Melb.-Albury train, the 'Spirit of Progress'.(SOP)

The SOP was made up of : luggage-mail van, 2 second class cars, dining car, three first class cars and a parlor (note the US spelling) car, probably with a supplementary fare.

The whole train was Corten steel bodied streamlined cars, all air-conditioned, the motive power were four S class three cylinder Pacifics dating from 1925-6, the whole streamlined in the style of the NYC 'Commodore Vanderbilt' express , all in Royal Blue with gold lining and lettering.

At the time, easily the best train in Australia, and possibly in the Southern Hemisphere.

It ran on into the diesel loco era, then after the standardisation of the Melb. Albury section, it was standard gauged and ran as a back-up to the overnight 'Southern Aurora'

Finally both trains were replaced by the XPT sets.

The new SOP is the result of work between a couple of rail heritage groups and a travel company.

Now, four cars plus two GM bull nose D.E. locos

Make up, luggage van, possibly one first and one second class sitting cars and the round end parlor car, with a SOP illuminated tail board, capacity 150 bods.

Overnight, off train, eating, not obvious, no dining car, there is a mention of a kiosk, probably in the  parlor car.

More info is required on the actual routes to be travelled , it will be of interest to see how this set up goes.








  • Like 2
Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...