Saturday, May 18th, 2013
NSW’s largest rail heritage volunteer organisation, the NSW Rail Transport Museum (NSWRTM), has applauded the release today by the NSW Government of the ‘All Aboard – A fresh start for rail heritage in NSW’ report, the outcome of an independent review of NSW’s rail heritage.

NSWRTM Chairman, David Ireland said, "We support the NSW Government's renewed focus on the community’s rail heritage, and we look forward to working with the Government to implement the report's key recommendations."

Mr Ireland continued, "Our 2,300 members and almost 400 volunteers play a vital role looking after, displaying and operating, the much-loved icons of our State’s rail heritage for the benefit of the community. So, we’re delighted that recognising and building on this effort is the centrepiece of the review’s outcomes."

The 'All Aboard' report recommends that a single, not-for-profit entity (to be known as Transport Heritage NSW) be formed from the existing members, volunteers and assets of the NSWRTM, to create the most efficient platform to care for the Government’s rail heritage assets. Transport Heritage NSW is also planned to merge the current activities of the not-for-profit NSWRTM, RailCorp’s Office of Rail Heritage and Trainworks Limited (a RailCorp-owned entity).

Mr Ireland said, "We believe icons like the famous 3801 steam locomotive and the Trainworks visitor attraction at Thirlmere have a bright future as part of a unified, consolidated and efficient volunteer-based organization. Since 1962, our volunteers’ passion and community purpose, has been making our rail heritage accessible to the public – and keeping our steam trains alive and well, and on the railway tracks of NSW. Facing the realities of the 21st century heritage environment, by bringing together Government support and volunteer effort, is the most sustainable way for the future of NSW’s rail heritage."


Mr Ireland concluded, "We’re also pleased to see that historic sites like the Large Erecting Shop at Eveleigh are part of the Review's focus and that smaller, independent and regional volunteer organisations are able to participate in parallel with Transport Heritage NSW, enabling on-going statewide enjoyment of our rich and diverse rail heritage."

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NSW Rail Transport Museum


- NSW Rail Transport Museum (NSWRTM) was formed in 1962 to preserve, display and operate its own heritage rail assets, and those held in trust from the NSW Government. Since 1975 these assets have been housed, cared for and displayed on a site at Thirlmere (near Picton), developed by the NSWRTM and, since 2000, at the NSWRTM's out-station, the Valley Heights Locomotive Depot Heritage Museum, in the Blue Mountains.

- NSWRTM has amassed over 150 railway locomotives and carriages in its collection (including the famous 3801 steam loco and the legendary Southern Aurora® express), together with a priceless collection of railway artefacts and memorabilia.

- NSWRTM is NSW’s largest rail heritage organization – a member-based, not-for-profit, registered charity with 2,300 members, almost 400 active volunteers and 9 dedicated paid staff.

- NSWRTM has an annual turnover exceeding $3 million and is largely self-funding through income from train operations and donations. NSWRTM currently receives a small amount of Government funding for asset conservation and restoration through RailCorp’s Office of Rail Heritage, which was established in 2006 to administer RailCorp’s Heritage Asset Management Strategy.

- NSWRTM’s maintenance and operational base is located at Trainworks at Thirlmere and NSWRTM operates in parallel with Trainworks Limited – an entity created by RailCorp in 2010 to operate the Thirlmere visitor attraction. NSWRTM offers train rides along 14 kilometres of its own maintained section of railway line at Thirlmere, as part of the Trainworks visitor experience.

- NSWRTM operates and maintains a fleet of 10 steam and diesel locos and 32 passenger carriages – accredited under national rail safety legislation, and marketed under NSWRTM’s Heritage Express™ brand. Annually, NSWRTM heritage trains carry over 35,000 people and travel over 26,000 kilometres throughout NSW, on journeys ranging from short steam train outings for families, to multi-day regional adventures featuring on-board restaurant and sleeping accommodation.

- Owned by the NSW Government and arguably Australia’s most famous steam loco, 3801 is part of the NSWRTM collection and is currently undergoing a major overhaul managed by RailCorp’s Office of Rail Heritage. It is currently anticipated that 3801 will return to service with the NSWRTM during 2014.
David Ireland
P: 0400 408 638

Rail Heritage Centre, Thirlmere NSW

The NSW Rail Transport Museum (Rail Heritage Centre, Thirlmere NSW) is an independent, not for profit company, established in 1962 for the purpose of collecting, preserving and presenting the railway heritage of NSW for the benefit of the community.

The Museum has over 2000 members, including an active volunteer workforce of over 300.

Kids of all ages love exploring Australia's largest display of historic locomotives, carriages and rail memorabilia.

Steam Trains operate on the heritage railway from Thirlmere on the first and third Sundays of each month, March to November, and on some additional days in school holidays.

The Museum has saved, restored and maintains in its custody, and on display, the largest and most significant collection of heritage rolling stock in Australia. A large proportion of our collection is owned by RailCorp NSW.
Richard Mulvaney
P: 02 9379 1110


rail, heritage, transport, NSW, review, Gladys, museum, trainworks, 3801



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