oz.jpg (7258 bytes)

 

The New South Wales Rail Transport Museum

The New South Wales Rail Transport Museum (NSWRTM) was formed in 1962, preserve examples of steam locomotives that did service on the NSW Government Railways during the last century and one half. Originally the locomotives and assorted rolling stock chosen for preservation were stored in the then active Round House at Enfield. On Sunday 22nd October 1972, the NSWRTM's display at Enfield was officially opened by then commissioner McCusker as one of his last official duties as commissioner.

Unfortunately after his retirement the Department of Railways was abolished, and the Public Transport Commission formed, under the control of a Mr Philip Shirley. The new authorities turned their backs on the past and in 1973 it was announced that the Enfield roundhouse would be demolished to make way for a container terminal that in fact was never built.  After much negotiation, the commission made available space on its property at Thirlmere near Camden. At great labour the exhibits were transferred in 1975 and the Thirlmere Railway Museum was opened on the 1st June 1976.

If not for the work done by the society an important part of Australian history would have been lost. Visitors expecting shiny exhibits and expensive displays will be disappointed, but those with a true love for these iron beasts will marvel at the amount of locomotives sheltered here and feast in their ability to climb about these relics. The work necessary in restoring this fleet will probably never be finished but that couldn't be further from the minds of those who toil each free afternoon without any reward but the dream of seeing their trains under their own power once again.

On the 1st of December, 1994, the NSWRTM became the first society in NSW to be granted full accreditation as a owner and operator of a railway - the Picton - Mittagong Loopline.

The Rail Transport Museum at Thirlmere is situated along disused Picton - Mittagong loop line, this line was the original main southern railway until it was bypassed to ease the grades. The loop line tourist railway operates on every Sunday and public holiday Mondays. The round-trip journey lasts 45 minutes and is run every hour. On the 3rd Sunday of each month , an Arts & Crafts fair operates at Buxton, further along the loop line.