Model - Ferris O Gauge Fast Electric Parcel Van

Production date
New South Wales
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Object detail

An O gauge tinplate Fast Electric Parcel Van with a bogie containing 4 wheels at each end. The van is powered by an electric motor. The body of the van is red. The roof is painted grey. The frame and bogies are painted black. It has 4 lights, with two at each end positioned above the drivers windows. the lights at the front are white, the trailing lights are red. There is a pantograph on the roof at the trailing end.
CH classification TRANSPORT Railways Model Locomotive
Production date
L270 x W65 x H110
Media/Materials description
History and use
This O gauge Electric Parcel Van was produced by Ferris in the 1950s. It is manufactured from steel sheeting. The details of windows, doors and lettering are produced as artwork and then screen printed onto the tin before the model is assembled. The model is completed by folding the steel and pressing it into shape. It is representative of the electric parcel vans used for delivering packages on the Sydney suburban railway network. This model is from the collection of O Gauge Tinplate Trains owned by Clive McTaggart.

Ferris was a manufacturing firm based in Sydney, Australia. It was formed in 1936 by two brothers, George and Bill Ferris. Ferris specialised in manufacturing car radios. After the Second World War imported brands of toy trains were difficult to obtain in Australia due to continued rationing and shortages of raw materials. Taking advantage of the demand, Ferris decided to diversify their production to include a range of toy trains inspired by NSW and Victorian railways. The Ferris trains were initially popular but by 1958 sales had declined to the point that the line was cancelled and focus returned entirely to television and radio manufacturing.

Clive McTaggart was born in Brisbane on the 16th of February, 1921. A pilot with the RAAF during World War II he worked ferrying aircraft between America and Australia, as well as flying combat and air/sea rescue missions. After the war he pursued his keen interest in model railways, organising displays and exhibitions, as well as operating one of Australia’s first dedicated model railway stores Austral Modelcraft out of his home in Ekibin. Whilst Clive had little spare time to build a model railway of his own he did collect O gauge tinplate trains produced between the 1920s and 1960s. Hornby products make up the bulk of this collection, but it also includes locomotives and rolling stock produced by Australian and German manufacturers.

Clive passed away on 29 May 1989. His business, Austral Modelcraft was sold to his friends Ray and Eileen Nunn who continued the business from a shopfront in Brisbane suburb Mount Gravatt East.
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