Thirlmere is about 90km (55 miles) from Sydney in New South Wales (Google Map) it’s only a small town, but has a lot of railway history. The town was originally named after Lake Thirlmere in England, of course Thirlmere here in Australia has beautiful lakes as well, and when the Europeans first started to settle at Thirlmere, around the late 1700’s they pitched tents up near the lake.
Thirlmere grew with the creation of the Great Southern Railway around 1860, a lot of people came to the area to work, most of course were railway workers, who pitched up tents, it was said in some areas you couldn’t even see the ground, there were tents back to back. As things progressed with the railway, so did the work, timber mills were built for the making of the railway sleepers for the rail lines, the lakes were used for water for the steam trains.
In the early 1900’s the Great Southern Rail line was changed to avoid steep grades, this changed Thirlmere to a farming community. Around 1960 coal mines opened which again drew workers to Thirlmere, the coal mines of course are still there today.
Thirlmere has always had a train museum “The New South Wales Rail Transport Museum” which is Australia’s largest and oldest train museum. Each year on the first Sunday in March, Thirlmere holds the “Festival of Steam”.
Now there is a brand new train museum called “Trainworks” I think the new part of the museum was added to the old, and everything was revamped, this has now given more space to add some amazing collections of the old trains, and there are still some wonderful trains to be added. Naturally the steam festival is still held every year.
The Observation Room end of the Governor-General’s carriage, one of the most luxurious railway carriages in Australia. It represents the work of the most skilled artisans employed in the New South Wales Government railways in the early 1900s, especially in the work of local timbers. The carriage was built at the Eveleigh Railway Carriage Workshops, Sydney, in 1901 for the use of the newly appointed Governor-General of Australia, the Earl of Hopetoun, John Adrian Louis Hope Hopetoun (1860-1908). The Carriage is being prepared to be moved to the new Trainworks Museum at Thirlmere. Picture: Charles Brewer (Picture Gallery)
The dining room area within the PAM11, the State Premier’s Carriage. Picture: Charles Brewer (Picture Gallery)
See more amazing photo’s at the Trainworks Museum Picture Gallery:- News.com.au
Learn more about Thirlmere in Wikipedia