DP13 – “Gatsby Flyer”

DP Class Background

The 'DP' class diesel railcars comprised an eclectic collection of eight very different batches of vehicles. The 'DP's best remembered for serving out their days on the Hobart suburban services and Parattah country service, comprised DP's 11 to 14 (the "Little Cars"), equipped with Gardner 6LW's. The "Little Cars" only worked alone or in multiple.

DP13 - A Colourful History

DP13 was built by Waddingtons Body Works, Granville, NSW in 1939 with a power unit supplied by Drewry Car Co. (B/No. 2119) & 102hp 6LW engine by L. Gardner & Sons, Hulme, Manchester,England. DP13 serviced the Hobart suburban network with a seating capacity of 52 people until its withdrawal and conversion to a Departmental Inspection Motor in 1959. The conversion was achieved by sealing off the end door,  removing the various partitions and seating, and refitting with a kitchenette, tables and minimal seating for 28 people. In 1981 it was repainted in Australian National's green and yellow colours to coincide with the launch of the new Launceston freight facilities. DP13 was sold Classic Rail Tours in 1996, converted back to passenger configuration and reunited with sister railcar DP14. In 2001 DP13 and DP14 were purchased by the Burnie City Council to run tours from Burnie to Penguin and Ulverstone. In 2012 after 6 years sitting idle at Burnie Station, DP13 was severely damaged by fire from an arson attack.

"Gatsby Flyer" Restoration

DownsSteam recognised DP13's potential, despite the severe fire damage.  In honour of DP13's colurful history, DownsSteam have decided on an "art-deco" themed interior and named DP13 the "Gatsby Flyer". In 2014 DP13's charred remains were transported from Burnie Tasmania to our Drayton Station and Workshop Precinct near Toowoomba. Once DP13 landed our dedicated team of volunteers set about rebuilding DP13 from the ground up. Some of the work involved included: a fully rebuilt frame, all new aluminium sheeting (donated by Lionel Moore - Moore Trailers), new seats, new wood paneling, repairs to the driving consoles, all new electrics and lighting, new tyres (imported from South Africa),  overhaul of the power bogie and Gardner Diesel engine, new windows, installation of a lavatory and a fully customised air-conditioning system.