Recent Activities

Work resumes on our Line

After many years, a dedicated group of Museum members have resumed clearing the branchline of vegetation from the Dorrigo end of the line. This effort has two purposes; to prevent damage to the track, from tree roots pushing the track bed up and out of alignment, and also to allow the track bed to dry out, as retained moisture increases the rate of decay of both rails and sleepers. Another benefit of clearing the line is to enable us to look at the feasibility of transferring, by rail, the remaining items of rollingstock stored on the line. This will be entirely dependant on the condition of the line and, in particular, the numerous wooden trestle bridges.

This is a view of the line between the first and second level crossings. The picture is taken from a cleared patch, looking towards Megan. 

This is a view of "the burnt out bridge". We have cleared all the vegetation from the bridge itself, and are working on the deviation installed to bypass the bridge.

This scene shows the result after we have passed through. We have cleared all of the major vegetation, which consisted primarily of privet and banksia, nicely bound together in the canopy by various vines.


Dismantled for overhaul in 1973, steam locomotive 3813 is a sister to preserved loco's 3801, 3820 and 3830, but is considered by many enthusiasts as long gone or written off. However 3813 has been making progress towards re-assembly lately thanks to the efforts of our Museum and the N.S.W. Rail Transport Museum. The locomotive's four largest components were already at Dorrigo being the boiler, locomotive cast steel frame, tender tank and tender underframe. The remaining 60 tonnes of 3813's components that were in the R.T.M.'s care, including main driving wheels and tender wheels, leading and trailing trucks, cab, smokebox and hundreds of smaller items, were recently transported north to Dorrigo by our Museum volunteers. The vast majority of 3813's components are now in the one place for the first time in over thirty years. This will facilitate its static restoration as a tribute to the men of the former N.S.W.G.R. Cardiff Workshops. It is the sole surviving locomotive constructed at that facility and was pride of place at the 1955 N.S.W.G.R. Centenary Celebrations.

The parts of 3813 stored in S-Trucks at Thirlmere

Some of the parts loaded on the Museum truck ready for transport to Dorrigo

All parts of 3813 re-united at Dorrigo for the first time in 30 years

Progress towards the "Limited" Public Opening of the Museum

The Museum volunteers are working towards the limited public opening of the static display, as funded by the combined Federal and State Government Grants of $320 000 from the Federal Department of Transport & Regional Services and the N.S.W Department of State & Regional Development.

Here are some images of the Museum's bulldozer and self-elevating scraper in action.

The D6 bulldozer is used regularly to trim the vertical cut left by the scraper. Preparation for the public facilities is well underway as the collection looks on. The scraper has broken through to the display site from the street level.

Purchase of land adjacent to our Line

The Museum has purchased a strategic piece of land adjacent to the branchline in Dorrigo. This 1 acre block adjoins our own 53 acre site and encroaches within 5 metres of the railway line itself. The construction of a new residence on the block was imminent, and after much negotiation the Museum completed a sub-division and purchase of the block to provide a strategic buffer zone. This was done to prevent restrictions on future tourist train operations due to noise, smoke etc., trains at that point climbing off a 1 in 30 gradient. Many other tourist railways have restrictions and curfews imposed by suburbia encroaching up to their boundary, indeed Puffing Billy in Victoria actively purchases land adjacent to their line to preserve the environment through which the line operates.