|Mr Lu Yang, Chief Financial Officer of Shenhua Watermark Coal and LPSC Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope inspect the model railway layout|
According to Liverpool Plains Shire Council (LPSC) Mayor, Councillor Andrew Hope, the official opening of the new model railway at Werris Creek’s Rail Journeys Museum is an amazing addition to the superb exhibitions already in place at one of Australia’s finest rail heritage precincts.
Speaking at the official opening, Councillor Hope said the new display is much more than just a model railway, it is a faithful representation of New South Wales Government Railways (NSWGR) infrastructure, locomotives and rollingstock that greatly enhances the experience of visiting the Rail Journeys Museum.
Councillor Hope welcomed Mr Lu Yang, Chief Financial Officer of Shenhua Watermark Coal to officially open the display. It was financed through the Shenhua Watermark Community Fund which provided $97,960 to the Rail Journeys Museum to assist with several projects that have greatly enhanced the experience for visitors to the complex.
“The model railway is a great new addition that will help attract further school groups plus tourists from all over Australia and around the world. The Museum’s popularity can be gauged through the fact that in excess of 135,000 visitors, have passed through its doors since it first opened,” Councillor Hope said.
|Plaque marking official opening of model railway layout|
Mr Lu Yang added the aim of the Shenhua Community Funding has been to improve visitor satisfaction by expanding the experience at the Museum through interactive displays that embrace modern technology. He said it would attract an even greater range of visitors to the town and further preserve its railway history.
“I believe this has been achieved and this model railway is a superb addition to the Museum. Shenhua is proud to be able to contribute to this community asset,” he said.
“I would like to thank the Museum’s volunteers for bringing the project to our attention, for their hard work and dedication in seeing it come to fruition and to LPSC for providing assistance throughout its construction,” he continued.
Councillor Hope also paid tribute to Matthew Wilcox who did the design planning and technical works as well as Luke Jenkins who did the fabrication for the layout.
“Importantly, we must never forget the massive contribution of the 40+ volunteers who keep the Museum operating between 10am and 4pm, 363 days per year, a remarkable achievement and one they can be very proud of,” he continued.
President of the Australian Railway Monument Inc (ARM), trading as the Rail Journeys Museum, Chris Holley, also thanked Mr Lu and the Shenhua Community Fund for the investment they have made in the Museum which has facilitated the expansion of exhibits.
“The Museum has also had a productive relationship with LPSC over a period of 12 years, under a Memorandum of Understanding, which has greatly assisted in building the high profile we enjoy today,” Mr Holley said.
“I might add that currently there are some 2,500 historical and heritage rail items in store in Sydney and the Rail Journeys Museum has submitted a request to have 30 major items transferred to Werris Creek to complete the exhibits on the first floor,” he said.
“The Rail Journeys Museum and Australian Railway Monument are not only important reminders of our rail heritage and rail’s importance to the township of Werris Creek it is also an extremely popular tourist attraction for the LPS. I congratulate everyone who has partnered to make the facility what it is today and look forward to many more visitors enjoying what it has to offer in coming years," Councillor Hope concluded.
President of the Australian Railway Monument Inc (ARM) and Rail Journeys Museum, Chris Holley, Shenhua’s Mr Lu Yang, LPSC Mayor Andrew Hope and model railway designer Matthew Wilcox
The locomotive roundhouse, turntable and coal stage are based on the infrastructure in place at Werris Creek during the steam era.