A railway car used on trains running between Melbourne and Bendigo from 1937 to 1981 has been included in the Victorian Heritage Register Taggerty was used on the trains running between Melbourne and Bendigo from 1937 to 1981, and on other lines to 1987 and is currently located at the Donald Railway Heritage Park.
The Taggerty Buffet Car (H2318) was originally built for the Victorian Railways (VR) in 1910 at the Newport Railway Workshops as the timber first class sitting car 34 AE. It was destroyed by fire in 1912 and rebuilt in 1914. In 1937 it was converted to a ‘composite’Buffet/Sitting Car with three compartments of first class seating and a long buffet counter,and named Taggerty, after the Victorian river in 1939. It is the state’s earliest surviving air-conditioned timber carriage – it was the third to be air conditioned, part of a trial for the new Spirit of Progress carriages, constructed later in 1937. The Taggerty Buffet Car was attached to the midday Bendigo – Melbourne and the evening Melbourne – Bendigo services from 1937 to 1981, except for 1942 to 1949 when all buffet and dining cars were removed from Victorian trains in order to save fuel during World War 2 and through postwar coal shortages. The inclusion of a buffet service on the Bendigo train permitted the elimination of refreshment stops reducing the trip time from over three to two and a half hours. The Taggerty Buffet Car was withdrawn from service on 21 December 1987 and given to Steamrail Victoria Inc. which then sold it to the Donald Lions Club for display at the Donald Rail Heritage Centre in 2004.
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