AB1 was built in 1869 by the Metropolitan Railway Carriage and Wagon Co., of Birmingham, England, for the broad gauge (5'3" or 1600 mm) Launceston and Western Railway. In 1889, AB1 (and most other broad gauge rolling stock) was converted to the standard Tasmanian gauge of 3'6" (1067 mm), by the provision of a new six-wheel underframe.
AB1 spent much of its time in service on the Strahan-Zeehan line and on Hobart suburban trains. With the availability of more bogie stock, most 4 and 6 wheel carriages were withdrawn and converted to workman's camps, with AB1 being one of the last to operate as a passenger coach, until conversion to Camp 132 in November 1953. This coach remained in TGR ownership until 1975, when it was obtained by the society for restoration and preservation.
Since its arrival at the museum, restoration of the body has been carried out to return the carriage to its original compartment configuration, and final fitting was completed with assistance from the Tasmanian Goverment's Bicentenary fund, with work completed in 2004.
Note: The above photograph was taken from a black and white print, and has been hand coloured to show the carriages later colour scheme.
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