Advertising vans

From the 1920's (if not earlier) the WAGR rented out space on the sides of their vans as mobile advertising hoardings. The company whose wears were advertised did not own the van or have exclusive use of it for their products. Other Australian Railways also sold space in a similar way.

The number of vans involved was small and official records are sparse so it is difficult to track down what actually happened and how long the colourful advertisements remained on the vans. Graham Watson, Rob Clark and others from Rail Heritage WA have compiled a list which is reproduced below. There may have been other vans which are as yet unrecorded.

Hyperlinks in the tables below are to photos on the web.

Pre WWII Era

The D class vans involved were of different types. N.Z.R. type D vans are shown in Purple. The 1905-1907 built 15' D vans are shown in blue. The 16'" standard D vans are shown in green. Those with unconfirmed configuration are left as black.

Wagon Class/Number Advertisement Company Product Weekly Notice Reference
D 8 E Symonds Plants, Seeds & Bulbs  
D 32 Marshall Shoes   952/32
D 582 Whittaker Bros.   952/32
D 582 F W Wright & Co LTD Produce Agents  
D 1187 Ezywalkins  Shoes 393/29
D 1189 Plaistowes Triple Blend Cocoa  
D 1194 Patterson & Co LTD Gisco Poison  
D 1451 Charlie Carter Ltd   904/29
D 4173 Hoyles Fabrics & Dress Materials
D 4189 Frank R Perrot John Deere Tractors  
D 4381 McFarlane & Co.   441/29
D 5158 H J Wigmore & Co LTD Buncles Chaff Cutters  
D ???? H J Wigmore & Co LTD    
D 5163 The State Government Savings Bank    
D 5164 Ezywalkins  Shoes 393/29
D 5165 The State Government Savings Bank
D 5174 Bairds Furniture Suppliers  
D 6810 Marshall Shoes   952/32
D ???? (either a 15' or 16' van) Buhler's Pianos  

Pickering Brook Heritage Group

Post WWII Era

Painting of advertising vans resumed in the mid 1950s. All of the D class advertising vans for which numbers are recorded seem to be 16' vans rebodied/rebuilt in 1953 (indicated in red). This may have been because the older D class vans were expected to have short remaining lives.

In this era other types of vans were used too. Classes DA, FD and V were all involved as well as the D vans.

Wagon Class/Number Advertisement Company Product Weekly Notice Reference
D 25 Plaistowe Confectionary   1108/56
D 27 McPhersons Ltd Ajax Pumps 483/73
Engineering Supplies  
D 31 Ferguson Tractors   967/58
D 59 (later DE 59) Mayne Nickless    
D 149 Midland District Food Market Midland Junction
D 160 Lynas Motors   200/58
D 251 Champion Vinegar   200/58
D 559 Tip Top Paint Coloramic Paint 926/58
D 1184 Flower Davies & Johnson LTD

Petter Industrial Engines,

Tilley Lamps (Handbrake Side)

D1184 R. Bruce (RHWA collection)

D 1198 Wrights LTD

The Big E Harvester,

Produce Agents (Handbrake Side)

D 1334 Champion Vinegar   200/58
D 4255 Masse Batteries   939/57
D 5151 British General Electric Refrigerators & Electrical Appliances  
D 5165 Lynas Motors Lynas Ford (in RH background)  
D ???? Ian Bonnerup Roofing Services   1168/62
D ???? Boucher for Steel Framed Buildings
D ???? Boucher for Steel Framed Buildings
D ???? Excelsior "Lifting Tools"
D ???? Walpamur Paints Walpamur paint

WAGR official photo of D5151 (RHWA collection)

DA 10881 Atlas Lamps   266/57
DA 10942 Champion Vinegar   WN No.10 - 15.03.1958
DA 10962 McPhersons Ltd Macson Lathes & Machine Tools 1066/58
DA 13307 IXL-Jones  Canned Fruit - Apricots  
DA 13308 Atlas Lamps   266/57
DA 13313 Champion Vinegar   200/58

DA13316 R. Bruce (RHWA collection)

DA 13316 IXL-Jones  Quality Jams  
DA 13317 Ferguson Tractors   967/58
FD 13995 Mayne Nickless or James Kiernan   923/68
FD 14013 Livestock travels best by Rail    
V 1865 Cast Alloy Cooking Utensils   222/59
V 2220 Tip Top Paint SYNGLO Enamelised Paint 965/56
V 3290 Boans   1961
V 3308 KLG Spark Plugs 109/59
V 3308 Coventry Motors 1959
V 3388 Coventry Motors   1959

There was at least one MRWA van with an advertising slogan carried during the Second World War. Also here and here.

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