Red Rattlers Gallery: An Art Gallery with a Twist

Red Rattlers Gallery: An Art Gallery with a Twist

Red Rattlers Gallery is a café and art gallery located in the picturesque Tweed Valley at Dungay [1]. The gallery displays and sells beautiful stained glass artworks and a range of other unique local arts, crafts and jewellery [1]. The café provides locally grown tea, coffee, and other refreshments, as well as homemade cakes, slices and cheesecakes [2]. However, it is the venue that makes this gallery unusual: both the gallery and café are located inside two historic “red rattler” train carriages that were relocated and renovated to suit.

The term “red rattlers” is an affectionate nickname given to Tait rail carriages used in Sydney. Tait carriages were first introduced to Australia in 1910 by Victorian Railways for use on the Melbourne suburban rail network; initially hauled by steam locomotives the carriages were converted for use with electric locomotives in the Sydney suburban network [3] [4] [5]. When the blue-painted Harris trains were added to the rail network in 1950, the noisy Tait Carriages the noisy carriages came to be known as “red rattlers” [4, 5].

The particular train carriages at the Red Rattlers Gallery made their final journey to Campbelltown in July 1991; they were sold and taken to a rural property where they sat in a paddock for 13 years before the entrepreneurs behind the Red Rattlers Gallery acquired them for the Red Rattlers Gallery [6]. Today, the two carriages sit side-by-side with an open wooden veranda connecting the two; one carriage houses the arts and crafts and the other carriage has been modified with seating areas and tables using the original train carriage seats [1, 4]. Both carriages are dotted with assorted memorabilia and historical information.

The Red Rattlers Gallery adds an extra dimension to the typical gallery visit. The gallery venue is effectively a museum, and visitors are immersed in a tangible piece of Australian rail history. The Red Rattlers Gallery an example of “product innovation” [7]. The conversion of the historic train carriages into a gallery and café provides a novel twist on both the gallery and café experience for the visitor, enhancing memorability.

Recommended Citation

Reid, S. R. M. (2016). Red Rattlers Gallery: An Art Gallery with a Novel Twist. INNOTOUR Innovation Cases. From


  1. Red Rattlers Gallery. Home. 2016  11 July 2016]; Available from:
  2. Red Rattlers Gallery. Café 2016  11 July 2016]; Available from:
  3. Sydney Trains. Generations of electric rolling stock. 2016  11 July 2016]; Available from:
  4. Parker, C., Red Rattlers Gallery. 2014.
  5. Scanlon, M., HISTORY: The old ‘Red Rattlers’ live on in Newcastle Herald. 2014, Newcastle Herald.
  6. Red Rattlers Gallery. History. 2016  11 July 2016]; Available from:
  7. Tidd, J. and J. Bessant, Managing innovation: integrating technological, market and organizational change. Fifth ed. 2013: John Wiley & Sons.


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