New South Wales Rail Transport Museum

Note: The NSWRTM has requested that I make it quite clear that these pages are NOT Offical in any form and that this is my own personal work and views.

Offical RTM site

Brief History

The NSWRTM was formed in October 1962, near the end of the steam Era on the NSWGR to preserve examples of steam locomotives. The locomotives chosen for preservation were stored in the then active Round House at Enfield. In 1967 the Department of railways made available a siding at Petersham, near the middle of Sydney, so that restoration work could be undertaken on the exhibits.

In July 1969, with steam locomotives rapidly disappearing from the railways roster, space became available at Enfield and between August and September, the museum's exhibits were transfered from Petersham.

On Sunday 22nd October 1972, the NSWRTM's display at Enfield was offically opened by commissioner McCusker as one of his last offical duties as commissioner.

With the retirement of McCusker, the Department of Railways was abolished, and the Public Transport Commission formed, under the control of a Mr Philip Shirley. As part of a drastic railway reform program, Mr Shirley decided that by 1974 NO steam locomotives would run on the railway, including preserved engines.

Not only was the operation of steam locomotives under attack, but in 1973 it was announced that the Enfield roundhouse would be demolished to make way for a container terminal. (This was never built, only the recent Enfield Yard redevelopment has seen the land used.) After much negotiation,the commission made available space on its property at Thirlmere.

Commencing in 1974 the site at Thirlmere was transformed, with the exhibits being transfered there early 1975. Shortly afterward the Enfield round house was bulldozed. The Thirlmere Railway Museum was opened on the 1st June 1976.

Over the years the site at Thirlmere has been slowly and painfully developed with much work still to be done, however at least now most exhibits are under cover. The rapid departure from Enfield all those years ago left many items exposed to the weather at Thirmere for many years as funds were gathered for contruction and extension of the display hall.

For further details of the museum's history, and the source of much of my information, see the January 1994 issue of the RTM's publication the Roundhouse where an article written by Philip Morgan follows the first 30 years of the New South Wales Rail Transport Museum.

On the 1st of December, 1994, the NSWRTM became the first society in NSW to be granted full accreditaion as a owner and operator of a railway - the Picton - Mittagong Loopline. They also gained accreditation as an operator of the 'Heritage Train' on others tracks, the 2nd society to gain this classification.

'Business Units'

The NSWRTM basically operates in 5 divisions as follows -

Active Rollingstock

Operation on own Infrastucture

Steam Locomotive 3001T		60Km/hr (*)		
Diesel Locomotive D1		20Km/hr		
Diesel Locomotive 7006		60Km/Hr		

Passenger Car HFO 1566		60Km/hr		
Passenger Car  FO 1563		60Km/hr		
Passenger Car  FO 1690		60Km/hr		
Passenger Car HFO 1665		60Km/hr		

Maintenance vehicle TDX 19	(Tamping Machine)		
Maintenance trike   SIC 51	
Maintenance trike   W   815	

Operation on own and other Infrastucture

Steam Locomotive 5910		80Km/hr		
Steam Locomotive 3642		(Under repair)					

Passenger Car FS  2093		115Km/hr		
Passenger Car FS  2122		115Km/hr		
Passenger Car RFN 2187		115Km/hr (Buffet)		
Passenger Car HN  2197		115Km/hr		
Passenger Car CN  1747		115Km/hr		
Passenger Car ABM 707		115Km/hr		

Brake Van VHO 1816		115Km/hr		

Water Tanker SWT 5		80Km/hr	

Operating - Restored recently under grants

Steam Locomotive	2705         Restored under NSW DOT grant.
Steam Locomotive	1709         Repaired for SRA 140 years celebration.
Set 88 - The Heritage Train   DOT grant project.
	HX  1006
	CBC 1089
	CBC 1090
	ABX 1007
Set 63	- Suburban DUB set	 Repaired for SRA 140th.

All these items of rolling stock were operated for the SRA's 140th celebration. Operating rules have been ammended to allow the operation of the wooded bodied Hertitage train set and DUB set 63. These sets must operate with an empty 'Cover Vehicle' trailing.

Other's private rolling stock

Passenger Car TA 501		115Km/hr	

Diesel Locomotives in service

The mainline locomotives were overhauled by the SRA for their 1995 140th birthday celabrations. 4201 and 4306 both appear to be classified for light duties only, doing only occasional mainline work, but 4490 and 4520 are able to undertake full load mainline duties if required.

Diesel Locomotive	7921 (Yard Shunter)
Diesel Locomotive	4201
Diesel Locomotive	4306
Diesel Locomotive	4490
Diesel Locomotive	4520

Comming tours - see RailPage - NSW

The Future

Projects facing the NSWRTM in the medium term are - the restoration of steam locomotive 3526 to replace 3642 in mainline traffic, allowing 3642 to undergo a major maintence/restoration program. The SRA have used the museum's 'deed of gift' to place a set of withdrawn the sleeping carrages in their care. These cars need much work to get them into suitable condition to begin operation of weekend 'rail cruises' again.

There are of course many other projects in progress to restore the various exhibits held at the museum site, and to improve the facilities at the site.

Images of rolling stock

These locomotives 5910 and 3642 are currently in the running fleet.
Locmotive 3813 is 'half' at the museum site, as a collection of parts. Some how, while dissasembled, two different groups ended up with half each !. Locomotive 3820 has fared some what better being on display, complete but inoperable at the museum site.

Copyright (c) 1996 Matthew Geier (