Tin Hare is the nickname given to the wooden bodied rail cars introduced on the New South Wales Railways in the 1920’s at around the same time that many greyhound tracks were converting to mechanical hares.
To the railway crews and passengers alike, these fast-running, self propelled trains were the next fastest thing to the greyhound racing hares. The name stuck with them throughout their 50 years of railway service.
The official name for the ‘Tin Hare’ rail cars is CPH rail motor, or 42 foot rail motors. Between December 1923 and 1930, there were 37 CPH rail motors built.
CPH rail motors began service on country New South Wales rail lines in 1923 and they lasted well into the mid 1980’s, providing 60 years of service and today there are only approximately 10 CPH rail motors in running condition throughout NSW and the ACT.
‘Tin Hares’ have windows at the ends of the car which give passengers a driver’s-eye view of the scenery ahead of the carriage. They have good old fashioned cow catchers and (for most of their working lives), roof-mounted radiators which give them their distinctive quaint appearance. The side windows open wide, providing that nostalgic fresh air cooling.
The Rail Motor Society of Paterson provide the Rail Motors and CPH excursion services for Hunter Valley Steamfest and lovingly restore and maintain them throughout the year.
Since its foundation in 1984, The Rail Motor Society has been dedicated to preserving NSW’s railway heritage. Thanks to the passionate efforts of the society’s volunteers, these historic vehicles are here for everyone to enjoy.