Riley Cars
Riley Cars
As old as the industry as modern as the hour
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Riley Railcars
Around1907 4 Riley engines with 3 speed gearboxes were sent to Tasmania and 4 to South Africa to be locally built into railcars and used for transporting staff and materials, nothing is known about the South African engines but in Tasmanian 1 has survived and is on show, fully restored in the Don River Railway, Devonport .
The pictures below show the railcars in operation with some information from the Light Railway Research Society of Australia , thank you for allowing me to show some of your pictures and snippets from your Light Railways magazines, articles can be search for here  I have shown a few interesting ones from way back in the early 1900's.
Below left- from "Trove" which is a collaboration between the National Library of Australia and other organisations around Australia.  just do a search for Riley car.  This picture was at Lake Margaret in the 1930's
Below right, another Lake Margaret picture from Pintrest.
Below - reproduced from the Riley Motor Club of Western Australia monthy newsletter Dec. 22 / Jan 23.
Thanks to the editor Ken Gasmier.
Riley Railcar No. 1 in Tasmania about 1947.
Below - Articles from the Light Railway Research Society of Australia.

Riley Rail Motor.
After the 1903 amalgamation, the Mt Lyell railway workshops at Queenstown built a small rail motor using a Riley motor car engine placed on a home-made frame. The intention was to provide a vehicle for the conveyance of maintenance personnel on the North Lyell railway. It had a capacity of ten passengers and the canvas roof and side blinds gave protection in inclement weather. Judging from photos of this vehicle, the stated passenger capacity must have been very nominal, as conditions would have been decidedly cramped with 10 people on
board. Passenger revenue for this vehicle, probably excursionists, was first noted in railway reports for the week ending 27 July 1908, so it seems that the Riley motor was built and transferred to the North Lyell line late in 1907 or early 1908. Its regular availability for excursions was advertised from October 1908 . After the First World War when a normal train was little used south of Darwin, the railmotor was used on a regular basis to Kelly Basin, conveying passengers, mail and goods. It remained on the railway until closure in 1928, when it was
placed in storage. It was not transferred across to the Mt Lyell railway until about 1930, when it made the journey on the back of a truck.

DON RIVER RAILWAY, Devonport 1067mm gauge Restoration of the unique Mt Lye Mining & Railway Company Riley railcar has been completed at the Don River workshops . It is believed
the railcar was built locally in 1910. using one of the Riley engines shipped to the Tasmanian West Coast about 1907 . This engine was developed by Victor Riley in England. and his grandson.  Also Victor Riley, flew to Tasmania to inspect the restored vehicle after attending the Millennium Rally of Riley cars in Alice Springs Don River Railway reporter, June 2000. via Ray Graf

Visit to the Gordon River
A visit to the famous Gordon River was made by a party of 30 on Sunday, 25th February. Three petrol rail cars left Queenstown a few minutes after 7.00 a.m., and the first stage of the journey involved a run of 22 miles over the Mt. Lyell Mining and Railway Company's line to Regatta Point on Macquarie Harbour, adjacent to the town of Strahan. [3 petrol rail cars for 30 passengers suggests small rail cars - the Company operated a 1922 Daimler Rail Car for the manager's private car and two 1910 Riley Rail Motors at this time ' . The Riley Rail Motors each had capacity of 10 passengers (see railcar pic above)

Following the provision of the 10-passenger Riley railmotor for the line in late 1907 or early 1908, the railway began advertising the vehicle as available for hire by tourists at weekends, either on a daily basis or for the whole weekend. Departure time from Linda was 9.00 am and arrival back at Linda at 6.00 pm. In the event that application for its use was heavy, the motor could also be run on weekdays, one of which had to be Wednesday. This meant that there would be two trains on the line that day, and presumably the motor crossed with the mixed train at some suitable location. Excursionists could also hire the company's motor launch IMP, for round trips on the harbour from Kelly Basin to Settlement Island, Birch's Inlet or the Gordon River. In the event of rough weather preventing such a trip which had been prearranged or paid, the company generously agreed not to make any charge!
And from the VAN DIEMEN LIGHT RAILWAY SOCIETY INC, Don River Tramway 1067mm gauge.

A long-term restoration project is the ex-Emu Bay Railway Riley railcar.
This unit is being completely refurbished, and many hours have gone into it already.

Don News 8/97 & 9/97 via Ray Graf
Below, an interesting picture of a Riley "trolley" from the South African website  obviously not related to the 1907 V twin models but with a single cylinder 4.5 h.p engine (which maybe related to the V twin as mentioned below in the Gazette article as maybe being the engine the V twin was developed from? A lot of Maybe's here as no confirmation, just a guess on my behalf).

Below - This picture from Matt at the Don River Railway, many thanks.
Below - The following pictures credited to the late Chris Gilbert.