Bathurst Rail Museum

Bathurst Regional Council, with support of Federal and State Governments, is developing an exciting new cultural facility - Bathurst Rail Museum.

The museum will explore the stories of Bathurst’s community and their connection to rail history all within the historic Railway Institute site.

The historically significant building will undergo restoration and additions to ensure a flexible, creative, multi-purpose cultural facility where locals and visitors will engage with the stories, objects and spaces.

The social history stories of the importance of rail for NSW, the region and the Bathurst community will be told through personal recollections and objects. It will include a 20 by 9 metre HO scale model railway depicting the historic Main West rail line between Tarana and Bathurst.

The Museum will include a dedicated children’s area as well as multiple spaces for temporary exhibitions, lectures, public programs and hire for various functions and events.

This project is proudly funded by the Federal Government through the National Stronger Regions Fund, the NSW Government through the Clubs Grants Category 3 and Bathurst Regional Council.

Register to keep up to date with developments on this project.

Bathurst Regional Council, with support of Federal and State Governments, is developing an exciting new cultural facility - Bathurst Rail Museum.

The museum will explore the stories of Bathurst’s community and their connection to rail history all within the historic Railway Institute site.

The historically significant building will undergo restoration and additions to ensure a flexible, creative, multi-purpose cultural facility where locals and visitors will engage with the stories, objects and spaces.

The social history stories of the importance of rail for NSW, the region and the Bathurst community will be told through personal recollections and objects. It will include a 20 by 9 metre HO scale model railway depicting the historic Main West rail line between Tarana and Bathurst.

The Museum will include a dedicated children’s area as well as multiple spaces for temporary exhibitions, lectures, public programs and hire for various functions and events.

This project is proudly funded by the Federal Government through the National Stronger Regions Fund, the NSW Government through the Clubs Grants Category 3 and Bathurst Regional Council.

Register to keep up to date with developments on this project.

  • Newsletter #9

    about 1 month ago
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    October Update 2


    On Monday 28 Oct, Mayor Cr Bobby Bourke, launched the fantastic new fence artwork, featuring drawings by local school students. Cr Bourke also launched the sale of our brand new Rail Plaques, which are available for purchase.

    Our new Rail Plaques give local families and individuals an opportunity to become part of Bathurst's Railway Family. Purchase a replica brass engine plate with your family name, to be displayed in perpetuity at the Rail Museum. Plaques can be purchased online (see right hand sidebar on this page), or in person from Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre.

    October Update 2


    On Monday 28 Oct, Mayor Cr Bobby Bourke, launched the fantastic new fence artwork, featuring drawings by local school students. Cr Bourke also launched the sale of our brand new Rail Plaques, which are available for purchase.

    Our new Rail Plaques give local families and individuals an opportunity to become part of Bathurst's Railway Family. Purchase a replica brass engine plate with your family name, to be displayed in perpetuity at the Rail Museum. Plaques can be purchased online (see right hand sidebar on this page), or in person from Bathurst Memorial Entertainment Centre.
  • Newsletter #8

    2 months ago
    P1050159

    October Construction Update


    October is shaping up to be a very busy month for the Rail Museum, as we get to the end of some major parts of the build.

    The model train layout gallery is almost complete, inside and out, with the finishing touches to the external flashing and decking (including the historic weighbridge plates) to be completed soon. Inside, the room is very dramatic, and we are preparing to move the layout into its final display position over the next few weeks. Huge thanks to our tireless volunteers, who have completed many hours of restoration and adjustment work...

    October Construction Update


    October is shaping up to be a very busy month for the Rail Museum, as we get to the end of some major parts of the build.

    The model train layout gallery is almost complete, inside and out, with the finishing touches to the external flashing and decking (including the historic weighbridge plates) to be completed soon. Inside, the room is very dramatic, and we are preparing to move the layout into its final display position over the next few weeks. Huge thanks to our tireless volunteers, who have completed many hours of restoration and adjustment work for over 6 months to prepare the layout for display.

    In the historic Institute building (public gallery), installation of the final sections of airconditioning is being finalised, with the original floorboards to be polished as the final step before the reception, exhibition and shop fitout begin.

    The children's area, toilets, commercial kitchen and cafe nook are also steaming along, with plumbing, external cladding and insulation just about complete. The internal walls and ceiling of the children's area, plus the final sections of glazing will go in soon. We can't wait for the world's largest permanent Brio set to be installed - it going to be a huge hit with kids of all ages!

    During late spring and summer, the internal Museum fitout, Chifley Gallery, landscaping and entrance canopy construction will take place, ready for opening in early 2020.
  • Newsletter #7

    3 months ago
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    September Construction Update

    September has been an exciting month already for the Rail Museum, with the move of carriage CBA547 from its temporary home at the Visitors Information Centre, to its permanent home at the Rail Museum. After very exacting formwork completed by Tablelands Builders, and the kind donation of some brand new rail from John Holland, plus a repaint and restoration work on the roof, the carriage was finally ready for the big move on 4 September.
    The 20-ton, 114 year old wooden carriage was first lifted by crane onto the transport...

    September Construction Update

    September has been an exciting month already for the Rail Museum, with the move of carriage CBA547 from its temporary home at the Visitors Information Centre, to its permanent home at the Rail Museum. After very exacting formwork completed by Tablelands Builders, and the kind donation of some brand new rail from John Holland, plus a repaint and restoration work on the roof, the carriage was finally ready for the big move on 4 September.
    The 20-ton, 114 year old wooden carriage was first lifted by crane onto the transport semi-trailer, to enable the bogies to be removed and reinstalled at the Rail Museum, ready for the carriage. Once the two 4-wheel bogies were in place, the carriage was craned up and over the large plane tree outside the museum, and perfectly into place.
    When the Museum is open, the carriage will be available for cafe seating for the public, or for private hire as a breakout space for conferences or kids parties.


  • Newsletter #6

    3 months ago
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    July/August Construction Update


    Despite some delays due to rain and high winds, July and August have seen the completion of lots of aspects of the build, including; the external cladding, continuing work on the insulation and internal lining on the model train layout building, the construction of the steel work and concrete tilt panels on the children's area and cafe nook, excavation and concrete formwork for the new home for the rail carriage, plus a host of internal work on air-conditioning units, storeroom shelving and framework for the external boardwalk near the layout building.

    Freeman Ryan Design have been consulting...

    July/August Construction Update


    Despite some delays due to rain and high winds, July and August have seen the completion of lots of aspects of the build, including; the external cladding, continuing work on the insulation and internal lining on the model train layout building, the construction of the steel work and concrete tilt panels on the children's area and cafe nook, excavation and concrete formwork for the new home for the rail carriage, plus a host of internal work on air-conditioning units, storeroom shelving and framework for the external boardwalk near the layout building.

    Freeman Ryan Design have been consulting with us and preparing the internal displays for the public gallery, and we are very excited to see the children's area and cafe nook construction coming together.
  • Newsletter #5

    3 months ago
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    May/June Construction Update


    Our builders have been very busy over the recent months, with the steel work, walls and part of the roof for the layout gallery going up, interior painting being completed, the storeroom steel work and walls going up and the slab being poured and steel work beginning in the children's area.

    Our hard working volunteers have continued the renovation of the Main West model railway, which is now completely lowered to accessible height, and almost totally re-wired for testing. Huge thanks to our volunteers for all their work so far.

    May/June Construction Update


    Our builders have been very busy over the recent months, with the steel work, walls and part of the roof for the layout gallery going up, interior painting being completed, the storeroom steel work and walls going up and the slab being poured and steel work beginning in the children's area.

    Our hard working volunteers have continued the renovation of the Main West model railway, which is now completely lowered to accessible height, and almost totally re-wired for testing. Huge thanks to our volunteers for all their work so far.
  • Newsletter #4

    7 months ago
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    Apr-May Construction Update

    A rear view of the site, from beyond the storeroom slab

    The last two months have focused on a variety of building tasks, including replacing the roof, preparing and painting the interior, completing new footings across the front of the building which restored the floor to level, designing and pre-manufacturing the steel frame component for the layout gallery and the production of the tilt panels that will form the new storeroom. It has been a very busy period!

    Our hard working volunteers have continued the renovation of the Main West model railway, which...

    Apr-May Construction Update

    A rear view of the site, from beyond the storeroom slab

    The last two months have focused on a variety of building tasks, including replacing the roof, preparing and painting the interior, completing new footings across the front of the building which restored the floor to level, designing and pre-manufacturing the steel frame component for the layout gallery and the production of the tilt panels that will form the new storeroom. It has been a very busy period!

    Our hard working volunteers have continued the renovation of the Main West model railway, which is almost ready for electrical connection and testing. Huge thanks to our volunteers for all their work so far.

    Looking across the exits into the main gallery from the Children's area

    The view from the loading dock, with the slab for the Children's area on the right.

    Internal painting has commenced in the shop/reception area and the adjoining public gallery.


    Painting in the office area, facing Havannah Street.

    Watch this space

    The Bathurst Rail Museum will continue to keep you updated on the Museum's content development in future newsletters.

    How can you be involved?

    There will be many opportunities to be involved and support the development of the Bathurst Rail Museum. Information will be provided regularly through this e-newsletter.

    If you have anything that you feel could contribute to our stories we would love to hear from you. Please contact Council on 6333 6111.

    We would also like to encourage you to let other people know about our newsletter. If they are interested in going on our database, they will need to email council@bathurst.nsw.gov.au.

  • Newsletter #3

    9 months ago
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    Feb/Mar Construction Update

    Railway Institute Building as seen from the rear.

    During February and March, work has continued on a number of fronts at the site.

    Work has focussed mostly on preparation and installation of earthworks and footings for the new additions to the Railway Institute. Other works continued on the interior of the original building as part of its restoration.

    These additions are a new Layout gallery on the rear tennis court and a new amenities/Childrens area to the east of the existing building.

    Look out for details in a future update of this Childrens area as plans to...

    Feb/Mar Construction Update

    Railway Institute Building as seen from the rear.

    During February and March, work has continued on a number of fronts at the site.

    Work has focussed mostly on preparation and installation of earthworks and footings for the new additions to the Railway Institute. Other works continued on the interior of the original building as part of its restoration.

    These additions are a new Layout gallery on the rear tennis court and a new amenities/Childrens area to the east of the existing building.

    Look out for details in a future update of this Childrens area as plans to date are very exciting.

  • Newsletter #2

    10 months ago
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    Construction Continues

    Construction on the Bathurst Rail institute has continued in the New Year after a short hiatus over Christmas.

    Work has focussed on the removal of hazardous materials (asbestos and lead paint) and the demolition of internal toilets. Preparation for underground stormwater and removal of some contaminated soil has also been undertaken.

    Construction Continues

    Construction on the Bathurst Rail institute has continued in the New Year after a short hiatus over Christmas.

    Work has focussed on the removal of hazardous materials (asbestos and lead paint) and the demolition of internal toilets. Preparation for underground stormwater and removal of some contaminated soil has also been undertaken.