Bathurst Rail Museum wins Arts and Culture Award

Filed : Local and industry news .

MEDIA RELEASE: The Bathurst Rail Museum has won the LG NSW Leo Kelly OAM Arts and Culture Award for the adaptive reuse of an historic building.

The prestigious award celebrates the outstanding achievement by local government organisations in strategic planning for arts and culture.

Mayor Bobby Bourke said the award was an honour and congratulated staff and the community for working together to create this world class facility.

“The Bathurst Rail Museum has been designed to attract international, national and local visitors adding to the suite of museums operated by Bathurst Regional Council including the Australian Fossil and Mineral Museum, National Motor Racing Museum and Chifley Home,” he said.


The Bathurst Rail Museum brings the rich social history of Bathurst and our story as a railway town to life, with personal recollections and interesting artefacts. Explore the stories of local people connected to the Railways, past and present, who have contributed to making Bathurst the thriving city and community it is today.

The completion of the railway between Sydney and Bathurst in 1876 was instrumental to the development of the colony of New South Wales. The Main Western Line was celebrated as a marvel of engineering that opened up trade, transport and communication opportunities for people living inland.

The railway also marked a new social and cultural era for communities in inland NSW. Besides giving working class people access to stable jobs and vocational education, the Railway Institute in Bathurst offered support and leisure activities for railway workers and their families.

The museum is housed in the historic Railway Institute building. Built in stages from 1909, it was the place to be for rail employees and their families to enjoy social gatherings, celebrations, and gain access to important vocational education courses. A fitting home for the Bathurst Rail Museum, the building has been extended to house the museum and a model railway the size of a tennis court. This scale model of the Main West railway during the 1950s and 1960s, displays the Tarana to Bathurst line and is complete with operating trains.

Young children are encouraged to come and explore creative play with one of the world’s largest permanent Brio sets, in our dedicated Kids Central Space.

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