The NSW Rail Museum is one of the shire’s most popular attractions and main features of Thirlmere. Since 1975 Thirlmere has been home to a significant rail heritage collection, including over 100 trains associated with the history of railways in NSW.

Located just over an hour from Sydney, the museum takes visitors on a journey to discover how the NSW railways brought shire villages to life, what life was like on the lines and what some of the greatest engineering and design achievements of railways over the years looks like. Visitors also have the opportunity to ride aboard a steam, heritage or diesel locomotive and experience the incredible rolling stock first hand. Please note the type of locomotives available for rides vary and are dependent on the time of year.

The museum houses the biggest rolling stock collections in Australia. A significant portion have been refurbished over the years to return the machinery into their former glory. Some of the carriages are accessible and visitors are welcome to climb aboard and either relive memories or experience for the first time some of the historical relics. Whether you’re a train buff or just coming along for the ride, you’re bound to learn something new and take away a new appreciation for rail history.

The NSW Rail Museums signature events include ‘A day out with Thomas’ where kids are overjoyed with the arrival of a real life Thomas the Tank Engine and the ‘Thirlmere Festival of Steam’ which has been running for 30 years.

Gallery + Map

3801 Sydney Harbour Bridge Crossing

On 25 September, 2022, history was made as the iconic steam locomotive 3801 traversed the Sydney Harbour Bridge for the first time.

On the first anniversary of this monumental event, the journey is available for all to enjoy and experience through real-time coverage of the crossing. This short film follows 3801 along its journey from Central Station, through the Sydney Underground for the first time, and across this iconic structure.