Flinders was built in the 1890s as carriage 167, a standard Short Tom, with first and second class seating. In 1929, cars 167, 168, 169 and 170 were converted for use on the Commissioner's train. All had the longitudinal seating removed, and were assigned to different functions.

Car 167 was gutted, and had a single bed sleeping compartment installed, complete with en suite and (cold) shower. Due to the width restrictions of the car, the bed was placed running along the carriage instead of the more usual format across the carriage. The end walls of the car were replaced with full height observation windows and large seats were installed to allow comfortable viewing of the receding track. The car was named Flinders in honour of the early Australian explorer, Matthew Flinders.

Flinders is still in that configuration and is available for private hire. It has seen use for both dignitaries visiting the railway, and for personal events such as birthdays and family occasions.

169 was converted to a sleeping car, and named Sturt (another explorer), while 170 was converted to a kitchen/dining car, and named Light (after the Colonel who is credited with planning the city of Adelaide). Both of these carriages are in the Pichi Richi Railway Preservation Society's collection, and see regular use on the Pichi Richi Explorer service.

168 was named Eyre (after the explorer Edward John Eyre), but the carriage was destroyed in the late 1960s.