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The New South Wales Rail Transport Museum (NSWRTM) located in Thirlmere, New South Walesmarker south-west of Sydneymarker, is a museum dedicated to displaying former locomotives, carriages and goods wagons from the New South Wales Government Railways as well as private operations in NSW. The collection features steam, diesel and electric locomotives and other rolling stock. A large proportion of the collection is owned by RailCorp NSW.

The Blue Mountains division of the museum is located at the Valley Heights Locomotive Depot Heritage Museum.

The museum operates steam heritage trains on the Picton Loop railway line between Thirlmere, Pictonmarker and Buxtonmarker. It also hosts the Thirlmere Festival of Steam, in March each year. In addition to this, the museum operates mainline tours under the name Heritage Express. These can consist of day or extended tours, usually over a weekend. NSWRTM/Heritage Express has an office on the Main Concourse at Sydney Central Station.

History

3801 in 2007
3820 as a static exhibit circa 1991
Preserved Silver City Comet
3642 in 2009
Established at the Sydney suburb of Enfieldmarker in 1962, the museum was forced to move in the mid 1970s due to a proposed redevelopment of the Enfield site by the railways, who selected Thirlmere as an alternative due to the disused "loop line" which could be used for train rides. The new museum opened in 1975.

In 1984 the Museum became a foundation, management member of 3801 Limited - an organisation created to oversee the operation of the locomotive 3801.

The famous British railway locomotive 4472 "Flying Scotsman" visited Thirlmere in the mid 1980s as part of its tour around Australia.

Classes of locomotives preserved at the museum include steam: J&A Brown 4 & 5, Z12, Z13 Z27, C30 tank and 30T Tender, C36, C38, D50, D55, D59, AD60. Diesel include: 442, 45, 43, 42, 40, 79, 49, 44. Electric locomotives preserved at the museum include 4638 and 8646.

The museum played a major role in the 2005 celebrations marking 150 years of the NSW railways, restoring locomotive 3526 in 2004, for the occasion. They provided much of the rolling stock for a 150 years display at Sydney's Central Station in September 2005. 3526 joined other non-museum locomotives in shuttles to the suburb of Hurstville during the weekend.

The RTM left 3801 Limited and the loco subsequently returned to the RTM in November 2006 after 3801 Limited's 20-year operating contract expired. In 2008 their most recent locomotive restored to operation was 3642 after its twelve-year overall.

The NSW RTM is now getting ready for a development to the museum with an interactive experiences and operational facility for the museum's and the state's railway heritage future. The museum will get help from Railcorp's Office Of Rail Heritage and the operational facility will be opened in 2009 and the museum's interactive experiences will be opened in 2010. The museum's new roundhouse was offically opened on Monday, November 9th 2009 for Railcorp employees. On display were 3642 on the turntable and 3256, 2705 and the Powerhouse Museummarker's 3265. The opening to public will on Saturday, March 6th 2010.

Organisation

The Museum has over 2000 members, including an active volunteer workforce of over 300 and a small number of full time staff. It is administered by a voluntary Board and a Management Committee.

The Museum is accredited as a rail operator under the NSW Rail Safety Act 2002 meaning it has network access rights on the NSW main line rail network.

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