New South Wales and Australian Capital Territory
Steam train at Thirlmere station, part of the NSW Rail Museum precinct, 3 March 2018.
Armidale Bicentennial Railway Museum
Armidale Bicentennial Railway Museum has a collection of fettlers’ track vehicles and exhibits related to railways in the Armidale region. It is open on weekends. Armidale is located approximately 520 km north of Sydney.
Australian Railway Historical Society, New South Wales Division (ARHSnsw)
Activities of the Australian Railway Historical Society, New South Wales Division (ARHSnsw), include monthly meetings in Sydney and Newcastle, tours by special trains, visits to places of railway interest, and the publication of books. The division also maintains a Railway Resource Centre for the benefit of researchers, and operates a bookshop in the inner Sydney suburb of Redfern. ARHSnsw produces two monthly magazines, Railway Digest, which contains news and articles regarding contemporary railways throughout Australia, and Australian Railway History, which contains articles about various aspects of the history of railways in Australia.
Australian Railway Monument & Rail Journeys Museum
The Australian Railway Monument is a tribute to the railway industry and its employees. An honour board lists the names of over 2000 railway workers killed on the job since the 1850s. The Australian Railway Monument is located within the Werris Creek railway station precinct. The Rail Journeys Museum is housed in the former refreshment rooms of Werris Creek railway station. It features displays regarding railway workers, railway accidents and railway operations, with a particular focus on Werris Creek. The museum is open daily. Werris Creek is located approximately 370 km north-west of Sydney.
Bathurst Railway Museum
A railway museum in Bathurst is currently under development. It will be housed in the former Railway Institute building, which is next to Bathurst railway station. Prior to entering politics, Australian Prime Minister Ben Chifley (1885–1951) lectured in the building as a train driving instructor. Various items will be displayed in the museum. The museum will open in early 2020. Bathurst is located approximately 200 km west of Sydney.
Bulli Black Diamond Museum & Heritage Centre
Bulli Black Diamond Museum & Heritage Centre is housed within the eastern platform building of Bulli railway station, an existing station on the South Coast line. It has a collection of exhibits regarding railways and coal mining, and also the social history of the local area. On display outside the station is a tank locomotive which spent most of its working life at South Bulli colliery, along with a coal wagon and brake van. The Museum is open on Sunday afternoons. Bulli is located approximately 70 km south of Sydney.
Byron Bay Railroad Company
Byron Bay Railroad Company operates a train service over 3 km of railway between North Beach station, located near Elements of Byron Resort, and Byron Bay township. Trains operate hourly. The service uses a diesel railcar, which has been converted to solar-powered electric operation. Byron Bay is located approximately 770 km north of Sydney.
Campbelltown Steam and Machinery Museum
The Campbelltown Steam and Machinery Museum has a collection of vintage steam and internal combustion engines that were used for agricultural and industrial purposes. There is also an operating 610 mm gauge railway on the grounds. The museum is open on two Field Days, held in May and October each year. It is located at Menangle, approximately 70 km south-west of Sydney.
Canberra Railway Museum
Canberra Railway Museum has a collection of historic locomotives, rolling stock and other railway exhibits. Its collection includes steam locomotive 1210, which hauled the first train to Canberra in 1914. Other exhibits include former New South Wales steam locomotives, diesel locomotives and a CPH rail motor. The museum is open on Sundays.
Condobolin Railway Museum
Condobolin Railway Museum displays a collection of railway trikes, trailers and other items, as well as machinery and equipment. Condobolin is located approximately 460 km west of Sydney.
Cooma–Monaro Railway is based at Cooma Station. It has previously provided rides using CPH rail motors, although trains are not currently operating. The railway yard at Cooma remains open for visitors, with various items of infrastructure and rolling stock on display. Cooma is located approximately 400 km south-west of Sydney.
Dorrigo Steam Railway and Museum
Dorrigo Steam Railway and Museum has a large collection of locomotives, rolling stock and other items from government and private railways in New South Wales. The collection contains numerous steam and diesel locomotives, including AD60 Class Garratt steam locomotive 6039, other former New South Wales railways steam and diesel locomotives, and locomotives from private railways. The museum is not open to the public, but some of the locomotives and rolling stock located in the railway station yard can be viewed from nearby roads. Dorrigo is located approximately 550 km north of Sydney.
East Coast Heritage Rail
East Coast Heritage Rail operates the Cockatoo Run heritage tourist train from Sydney via Wollongong and Robertson to Moss Vale, and also other main line trips. It formerly operated under the name 3801 Limited.
Eskbank Locomotive Depot & Museum
Eskbank Locomotive Depot & Museum plans to establish a railway museum and a wagon maintenance facility on the site of the original Eskbank Locomotive Depot in Lithgow. Locomotives and rolling stock currently housed at the Lithgow State Mine would move to the new museum. The group has also purchased a Shay locomotive from the United States, similar to those that operated on the former railway line to Newnes.
Finley Railway Museum
Finley Railway Museum contains a number of items related to railways in the Finley area. The museum is housed within the Finley railway station building on the former Narrandera to Tocumwal railway line. Finley is located approximately 660 km south-west of Sydney.
Glenreagh Mountain Railway
Glenreagh Mountain Railway aims to establish and operate a railway museum and tourist railway on the Glenreagh to Ulong section of the former Glenreagh to Dorrigo railway line. It currently has a depot located at Glenreagh, where there are several items of locomotives and rolling stock, including a Z19 Class 0-6-0 steam locomotive, a CPH rail motor and a former Melbourne W2 Class tram. Glenreagh is approximately 570 km north of Sydney.
Goulburn–Crookwell Heritage Railway
Goulburn–Crookwell Heritage Railway aims to preserve and restore the former Goulburn to Crookwell branch railway. A museum is contained within the station building at Crookwell, which is located approximately 240 km south-west of Sydney.
Goulburn Roundhouse has a collection of locomotives, rolling stock and heritage machinery housed in a 42-road roundhouse. The collection includes steam locomotives, diesel locomotives, a CPH rail motor, historic passenger and goods rolling stock, and other items. It is open from Tuesdays to Sundays. Goulburn is located approximately 200 km south-west of Sydney.
Great Cobar Heritage Centre
The Great Cobar Heritage Centre has a range of exhibits regarding the local area, including mining and railways. It is housed within the former administrative offices of the Great Cobar Mine. On display are a Royal Far West Health Scheme baby health clinic railway carriage, a 1908 electric locomotive from the Great Cobar Mine, and a battery-electric locomotive from the New Occidental Mine. The heritage centre is open daily. Cobar is located approximately 700 km north-west of Sydney.
Gundagai Heritage Railway
Gundagai Railway Museum has a number of railway heritage exhibits housed within the former Gundagai railway station building and yard. Gundagai is on the former Cootamundra to Tumut railway line. The museum is open from Wednesdays to Sundays. Gundagai is located approximately 380 km south-west of Sydney.
Historic Electric Traction (HET)
Historic Electric Traction (HET) assists in the preservation of historic Sydney electric trains in working order. HET does not own or operate its own rolling stock but is the custodian of the Transport Heritage NSW electric train fleet.
Hunter Valley Railway Trust
Hunter Valley Railway Trust has an extensive collection of locomotives, rolling stock and other items. The site is not open to the public. Rothbury is located in the Hunter Valley, approximately 180 km north of Sydney.
Hunter Valley Steamfest
Hunter Valley Steamfest is an annual event held in April, and is based in the town of Maitland. Features include rides on steam trains and other heritage trains, vintage machinery displays and market stalls. Several steam locomotives are usually in operation. Maitland is located approximately 160 km north of Sydney.
Illawarra Light Railway Museum Society (ILRMS)
The Illawarra Light Railway Museum Society (ILRMS) has a collection of steam and diesel locomotives, rolling stock and other items from industrial railways in Australia. Most of these locomotives were used within the Illawarra region of New South Wales or in the Queensland sugar cane industry. Train rides operate and the museum is open on the second Sunday of each month and some other Sundays. The museum is open without rides operating on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Albion Park is located approximately 100 km south of Sydney.
Junee Roundhouse Railway Museum
Junee Roundhouse is used partly as a museum and used partly for re-conditioning and rebuilding locomotives and rolling stock. Museum exhibits include a Z24 Class steam locomotive, 46 and 86 Class electric locomotives, diesel locomotives, electric trains, a mail van, railway trikes and other items. The museum is open every day except Christmas Day and Good Friday. Junee is located approximately 440 km south-west of Sydney.
Lachlan Valley Railway
Lachlan Valley Railway maintains operational steam and diesel locomotives, heritage passenger railway carriages and rail motors. It operates a range of main line and local tours from Sydney and regional centres in New South Wales. Lachlan Valley Railway operates the Cowra Railway Heritage Centre, which displays steam and diesel locomotives, passenger and goods rolling stock. Exhibits include steam locomotives 5367 and 3026, diesel locomotives, railcars and passenger carriages. The museum is open daily, except Christmas Day. Cowra is located approximately 300 km west of Sydney. Lachlan Valley Railway is currently establishing a new operating depot at Orange, but will retain the museum at Cowra.
Ladysmith Tourist Railway
Ladysmith Tourist Railway has a number of exhibits at the restored Ladysmith railway station, on the former Tumbarumba railway line. Exhibits include a goods van, a goods wagon, fettlers’ vehicles and safeworking equipment. It is open on the second Saturday of each month.
Lake Macquarie Heritage Centre
Lake Macquarie Heritage Centre is located within the former Toronto railway station and is run by Lake Macquarie and District Historical Society. It has displays regarding Toronto’s railway heritage and other aspects of local history. The centre is open on Wednesdays, Sundays and Public Holidays. Toronto is located approximately 130 km north of Sydney.
Lake Macquarie Light Rail
Lake Macquarie Light Rail has four operational 610 mm gauge locomotives: two steam locomotives and two petrol shunting locomotives. Other locomotives are under restoration. It operates a railway in a figure eight loop with two stations. Visits can be arranged by email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Lake Macquarie Light Rail is located near Toronto, approximately 130 km north of Sydney.
Lithgow State Mine Railway
Lithgow State Mine Railway has a collection of locomotives and rolling stock, including a New South Wales Z26 Class steam locomotive and diesel locomotives from the Port Kembla steelworks. A two-car diesel railcar is currently on loan to the Byron Bay Railroad Company. Plans for the future include a tourist railway on the former State Mine Colliery railway line and main line tours. The Lithgow State Mine Railway is based at the State Mine Heritage Park & Railway on the site of the former State Mine in Lithgow, approximately 140 km west of Sydney.
Maitland Rail Museum
Maitland Rail Museum aims to the preserve, restore and display the history of South Maitland Railways and the Maitland area. The museum is open on the first Sunday of each month, and also has a display at Hunter Valley Steamfest each year. Maitland is located approximately 160 km north of Sydney.
Merriwa Railway Society Incorporated
A museum at the former Merriwa railway station has a range of exhibits regarding railways in the local area. The museum does not have regular open days. Merriwa is located approximately 310 km north-west of Sydney.
Museums Discovery Centre
The Museums Discovery Centre is operated by the Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences, and contains a wide range of items. Transport exhibits include small steam locomotives and former Sydney tramcars. The Museums Discovery Centre is open on weekdays, and is located in the north-western Sydney suburb of Castle Hill.
Newington Armory Railway
Newington Armory was a former Royal Australian Navy armament depot that is now open to the public as part of Sydney Olympic Park. The armory used battery-powered locomotives on a 610 mm gauge railway to transport munitions around the site. The railway now provides rides for visitors around part of the Newington Armory site. Train rides operate on Sundays. Newington is a mid-western suburb of Sydney.
NSW Rail Museum
NSW Rail Museum is a large railway heritage museum located in Thirlmere. It was known as TrainWorks for several years until 2017, and earlier as the New South Wales Rail Transport Museum. The collection includes over 100 railway vehicles that operated in New South Wales, and is the largest collection of historic rolling stock on public display in Australia. Displays include historic steam, diesel and electric locomotives; railcars; electric train carriages; passenger, freight and special use carriages; exhibits regarding life on the railways; a purpose-built roundhouse; and the historic railway station precinct. Steam locomotives include New South Wales railways locomotives of the X10, Z17, Z20, Z25, Z27, C30, C30T, C32, C35, C36, C38, D55, D59 and AD60 Classes. The NSW Rail Museum is the custodian of 3801, the most famous steam locomotive in Australia. Diesel locomotives include 7921, one of the first diesel locomotives to operate in New South Wales, and 4001, the oldest mainline locomotive in the state. The NSW Rail Museum is open every day of the year except Good Friday and Christmas Day. Heritage train rides operate from Thirlmere to Buxton and return on Sundays. Thirlmere hosts the Festival of Steam on the first weekend of March every year. This event includes several steam engines in operation, as well as special exhibits and market stalls. Thirlmere is located approximately 90 km south-west Sydney.
The NSW Rail Museum also operates a range of short and extended tours in the Sydney area and rural New South Wales. These tours feature various heritage trains, including steam and historic diesel locomotives. Details of tours and special events are updated on the NSW Rail Museum website.
Nyngan Museum is housed within the former railway station building. Inside the museum are the railway telephone exchange, interpretive displays regarding railways in the local area, and other exhibits. Also on display are items focusing on the local history of the area. The museum is open from Monday to Saturday. Nyngan is located approximately 570 km north-west of Sydney.
Oberon Tarana Heritage Railway
Oberon Tarana Heritage Railway is working towards the establishment of a tourist railway on the former Tarana to Oberon railway line. It currently occupies Oberon railway station and yard, and has several locomotives, goods wagons and carriages. Within the station building is a heritage display, which is open on the first Saturday of each month. Oberon is located approximately 180 km west of Sydney.
The Outpost Train is a collection of railway items that are maintained by the St Marys Vietnam Veterans’ Outpost. Items include a former BHP Newcastle 0-4-0T steam locomotive, and locomotive-hauled and electric carriages from the New South Wales railways. A railway station named South Creek (the original name of St Marys) has been established, although the site is not connected to a railway line and the items on display are static exhibits. The Outpost Train is located within the grounds of St Marys RSL Club. St Marys is located in western Sydney, approximately 45 km from the city.
The Powerhouse Museum is part of the Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences. It has a wide collection of exhibits, focusing on science and technology. Most of the items on public display are housed in the former tramway power station in Ultimo, although there are plans to move the museum to Parramatta. The museum has a number of railway and tramway exhibits, including Locomotive No. 1, the first locomotive to operate on the New South Wales railways. It is open every day except Christmas Day. Ultimo is an inner Sydney suburb.
Rail Heritage Australia (NSW)
Rail Heritage Australia (NSW) aims to promote rail heritage, including railway lines and infrastructure, rolling stock and historical records. Its members are various rail preservation groups in New South Wales.
Rail Motor Society
The Rail Motor Society was established in 1984 to collect, preserve and operate a representative fleet of New South Wales rail motors. It provides day and extended trips for the group tour market, as well as specialised rail tours for railway enthusiast organisations. Tours are regularly operated using CPH rail motors 1, 3 and 7, and 620 Class railcars 621/721. The Rail Motor Society’s depot at Paterson is open as a museum on the third Saturday of each month from January to November. Paterson is located approximately 180 km north of Sydney.
The railway station building at Temora has been restored and contains a museum with exhibits regarding the history of the station and surrounding region. The museum is open on Fridays and on the first and third Saturday of each month. Temora is located approximately 420 km south-west of Sydney.
Richmond Vale Railway Museum
Richmond Vale Railway Museum aims to preserve the railway and mining heritage of J & A Brown and the Hunter Valley region. Exhibits include former South Maitland Railways and Richmond Vale Railway steam locomotives, diesel locomotives from the former Newcastle steelworks, passenger carriages and goods wagons. Trains operate on the first three Sundays of each month and every Sunday during school holidays. Richmond Vale Railway Museum is located approximately 150 km north of Sydney.
Robertson Heritage Railway Station
Robertson Heritage Railway Station has a museum and gallery within the Robertson railway station building. Further displays are housed in the nearby fettlers’ shed. The station is open for special events and when tour trains visit Robertson. Robertson is located approximately 125 km south-west of Sydney.
Scenic Railway, Katoomba
Scenic Railway is part of Scenic World, which offers a number of attractions, including a skyway and cableway. At an angle of at 52 degrees (1 in 0.78 or 128%), the Scenic Railway is the steepest railway in the world. It descends over 300 metres to the bottom station, where passengers can disembark and walk through rainforest to a waterfall and an abandoned mine. It is open daily. The Scenic Railway is located at Katoomba in the Blue Mountains, approximately 110 km west of Sydney.
State Mine Heritage Park & Railway
State Mine Heritage Park & Railway is located on the site of the former State Mine in Lithgow. It includes mining relics, industrial and cultural displays, as well as railway exhibits. Lithgow State Mine Railway is also based at the site. The State Mine Heritage Park & Railway is open on weekends and on school and public holidays. It is located at Lithgow, approximately 140 km west of Sydney.
Streamliners Australia hosted an event at Goulburn Roundhouse in October 2016, involving 20 ‘streamlined’ diesel locomotives. Locomotives included Clyde/EMD (Electro Motive Division) and Goodwin/Alco (American Locomotive Company) built units, all using a ‘streamlined’ design, with a round nose at the front of the locomotive. Streamliners Australia has acquired diesel-electric locomotive CLP10, which it plans to restore and make available for hire by accredited heritage railway operators. CLP10 was built by Clyde Engineering at Granville in Sydney and entered service as CL Class locomotive CL17 with Commonwealth Railways in 1972. It was the last ‘streamlined’ locomotive built by Clyde Engineering and also the last to be built in the world. It was rebuilt for passenger service in 1993 and reclassified as CLP Class unit CLP10.
Sulphide Street Railway & Historical Museum
Sulphide Street Railway & Historical Museum is housed in the former Silverton Tramway Company’s Sulphide Street railway station and yard in Broken Hill. Exhibits include Silverton Tramway Company steam locomotives, a New South Wales railways Silver City Comet train set, as well as rolling stock and historical items related to the Silverton Tramway and railways of the New South Wales Government. Three other small museums are located on the same site. Broken Hill is located approximately 1160 km west of Sydney.
Sydney Electric Train Society (SETS)
Sydney Electric Train Society (SETS) aims to preserve, operate and display examples of historic Sydney electric trains. It has two electric locomotives, 4615 and 8606, and a fleet of single-deck suburban and interurban electric carriages.
Sydney Tramway Museum
Sydney Tramway Museum has a large collection of trams that are mostly from the former Sydney tramway network, which closed in 1961. Exhibits include C290, the oldest electric tram in Australia. There are also representative trams from the interstate cities of Brisbane, Melbourne and Ballarat, in addition to trams from the overseas cities of San Francisco, Nagasaki, Munich, Milan and Berlin. Tram rides operate along 4 km of track between Sutherland and the Royal National Park. Operating days are Sundays and Wednesdays. The Sydney Tramway Museum is located next to Loftus railway station, on the suburban Illawarra railway line, in Sydney’s southern suburbs.
Tenterfield Railway Museum
Tenterfield Railway Museum is located in the station and yard of the former Tenterfield railway station. It displays a collection of rolling stock and items related to the railways of the region. The museum is open daily except Tuesdays. Tenterfield is located approximately 700 km north of Sydney.
The Picnic Train
The Picnic Train is a brand name for steam-hauled heritage train services to regional destinations, mostly within a few hours travel from Sydney. Destinations have included Kiama and Singleton. The Picnic Train services are operated by Sydney Rail Services.
Timbertown is a heritage village and park related to the timber industry. The site includes the Timbertown Heritage Railway, which is 2.4 km long and operates on 610 mm gauge track. Timbertown is located at Wauchope, approximately 370 km north of Sydney.
Tocumwal Railway Heritage Museum
Tocumwal Railway Heritage Museum is located within the Tocumwal railway station building. It contains a range of photographs and itmes relating to train operations at the town, which is located on the New South Wales side of the border with Victoria. Visits can be arranged by appointment. Tocumwal is located approximately 700 km south-west of Sydney.
Transport Heritage NSW
Transport Heritage NSW (THNSW) was established in 2013 to preserve transport heritage in New South Wales and elsewhere, particularly railway heritage. It brought together the activities of the former NSW Rail Transport Museum and the Office of Rail Heritage. Responsibilities include:
the operation of two museums: NSW Rail Museum at Thirlmere, and Valley Heights Locomotive Depot
conducting heritage passenger services, events and tours
maintaining the THNSW operational fleet, and operating heritage train rides from Thirlmere
working with and supporting various heritage transport organisations
managing a range of small artefacts, objects and other miscellaneous items.
THNSW receives funds from the New South Wales Government and reports regularly to Transport for NSW. A Transport Heritage expo is held at Sydney’s Central station over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend in June each year.
Tumbarumba Tourist Railway
Tumbarumba Tourist Railway aims to operate a tourist railway from Tumbarumba along the former Wagga Wagga to Tumbarumba railway line. Tumbarumba is located approximately 460 km south-west of Sydney.
Valley Heights Locomotive Depot Heritage Museum
Valley Heights Locomotive Depot is home to exhibits of the Valley Heights Locomotive Depot Heritage Museum and the Valley Heights Steam Tramway. The collection includes railway locomotives and rolling stock, and a steam tram motor and trailer. The Museum is open on the second and fourth Sunday of each month. Valley Heights is located in the Blue Mountains, approximately 70 km west of Sydney.
Valley Heights Steam Tramway
Valley Heights Steam Tramway is operated by the Steam Tram & Railway Preservation Society. It is located on the same site as the Valley Heights Locomotive Depot. Open days are held on the second and fourth Sunday of each month, with steam tram motor 103A, the only operating steam tram motor in Australia, typically operating serives on the second Sunday and a mixed train on the fourth Sunday. Valley Heights is located in the Blue Mountains, approximately 70 km west of Sydney.
Vintage Rail Journeys
Vintage Rail Journeys is restoring a felt of former Southern Aurora carriages. It plans to operate a sleeping train to areas of regional New South Wales and beyond. Journeys will include travel on lines that do not have regular passenger trains.
Wagga Wagga Rail Heritage Station Museum
Wagga Wagga Railway Heritage Museum aims to preserve heritage equipment and historic records related to railways in the Wagga Wagga area. It is housed within Wagga Wagga railway station building, the nearby railway rest house and gang sheds. The museum is open from Mondays to Saturdays. Wagga Wagga is located approximately 460 km south-west of Sydney.
Yass Railway Museum
Yass Railway Museum has a collection of railway artefacts inside the former Yass station building. Within the railway yard is a Z13 Class steam locomotive that operated on the Yass railway line, steam and diesel locomotives, passenger and goods rolling stock. The museum is open on Sundays and most public holidays. Yass is located approximately 280 km south-west of Sydney.
Zig Zag Railway
The Great Zig Zag near Lithgow was opened in 1869 and received acclaim for its design, which used reversing sections to enable trains to descend over 200 metres. It was eventually bypassed in 1910 after increasing traffic led to the need for a faster route. In 1975 the Great Zig Zag was re-opened as a tourist railway using narrow gauge locomotives and rolling stock from Queensland and South Australia. Steam trains and rail motors operated regularly until 2012, including former Queensland Railways AC16, DD17 and BB18¼ Class steam locomotives. The Zig Zag Railway is not currently operating, but work to re-open is ongoing. The Zig Zag Railway is located at Clarence, near Lithgow, approximately 130 km west of Sydney. Visitors to the Zig Zag Railway can travel by regular train, alighting at Zig Zag station, or by road to Clarence.