We never miss an opportunity to take our transport-loving guy somewhere that will indulge his passion. It’s been a long time between visits to the NSW Rail Museum in Thirlmere and yet again it didn’t disappoint. With over 100 trains, locomotives and an impressive range of historical items on display in an accessible building, this is a wonderful day trip from Sydney.
NSW RAIL MUSEUM – ACCESSIBE RAILWAY FUN
The NSW Rail Museum consists of three main areas, all of which are accessible. We decided to head first to the Roundhouse and workshop at the rear of the museum and work our way back. BJ enjoyed seeing the maintenance and conservation work being undertaken in the workshop. It’s fantastic to know history is being preserved for future generations to appreciate Large viewing windows at wheelchair height made it easy for him to supervise what was going on.
The Roundhouse at the NSW Rail Museum is serviced by a 32 metre turntable from the Enfield steam depot. It’s one of only three in NSW of this size.
The Great Train Hall is the area BJ enjoys exploring the most at the Museum.
The area features an impressive collection of steam, diesel and electric locomotives. BJ particularly likes going into the passenger cars where an era of train history has been preserved. Thank goodness for the volunteers who lovingly tend to these rail cars.
In the Exhibition Building visitors can learn more about how the railways bridged the gap between town and country.
I was impressed to see another example of one of the mail carriages on display (I first saw one last year at the Junee Roundhouse Railway Museum). It still amazes me that technology has advanced so much and yet it would seem the mail service was more efficient back in the day.
Many historical items, some I even remember from my childhood including coloured paper tickets, are on display.
BJ is far more impressed with the trains but I’m sure many rail buffs, or those who grew up in a different era, will enjoy the trip down memory lane.
NSW RAIL MUSEUM THIRLMERE – ACCESSIBILITY
Excellent access is provided throughout the various areas of the NSW Rail Museum. Well spaced exhibitions ensure easy access.
There is room between the majority of the trains in the Great Train Hall to fit through with a wheelchair.
Ramp access is provided to the workshop viewing area and to an interactive display for children.
Although ramp access is provided to some of the trains, the one pictured above is incredibly steep and not advisable for wheelchair users. Hubby is just just crazy and pushed through despite the steep incline. Some of the train carriages have step access which BJ could manage with assistance. BJ’s wheelchair fitted through the carriage door of the mail train carriage but he walked with assistance inside the other carriages. The historic nature of the carriages means their doors were not built for wheelchair access.
The NSW Rail Museum has a step-free entrance with automatic sliding doors, the cafe (not operating at the time of our visit due to Covid restrictions) and gift shop are also accessible. A stand-alone unisex accessible bathroom is available with a height adjustable change table. Please note there is no hoist.
Free street parking is available with accessible parking bays located a short distance from the entrance.
The Australian Companion Card is accepted.
We didn’t have time to do any of the train rides on offer but I did note on the museum’s website the following information regarding access, “prams and wheelchairs will not fit through the doorways of the carriages on steam train rides. However, a safe storage place will be provided and assistance to board the trains is available if required.”
If you’d like further information to plan your day at the NSW Rail Museum and to find out about their heritage train rides, check out their website.
We combined our visit to the NSW Rai Museum with a stop at the Dawson-Damer Park at Oran Park. BJ had a wonderful time cooling off in the water park using the Hippocampe water chairs available (booking is essential) thus he is seen in all these photos with bare feet! You can read about our visit and how to book a water wheelchair in our review of Dawson-Damer Park.