DB3 was built in 1885 by the Bristol Carriage and Wagon Works in England as part of an order for rolling stock for the newly opened Deloraine to Devonport extension, although the original DB3 was quite different in appearance to the current van.
DB3 was first rebuilt in July 1932, when the original body was resheathed. A new body of similar design, was provided in 1947. Throughout the years many more modifications were applied to the van, including the fitting of vacuum brakes around 1900, electric lighting in 1947 and full lighting in 1959. In comparison with other members of the class, DB3 was probably one of the least modified vans left in traffic, retaining its screw couplings, both passenger compartments and most of its planked sides intact, with only one end being reclad with smooth ply-wood.
With its useful life with Tasrail finished, DB3 was transferred to the Tasmanian Transport Museum in August 1986, where it is used as guards van on the Society's mixed train. Because of the its good condition when delivered, little work has needed to be done to the van. Following the withdrawal from service of steam loco C22, DB3 had been given a much needed overhaul and a repaint into 1950s TGR green. The van is now available for service again and has also made a number of mainline runs on charter trains
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