What is NSW rail heritage?
Ever wondered what it was like for your parents to go to school? Your grandparents? Ever wondered what kinds of music they listened to, what sorts of films they went to see? Ever wondered what your street must have looked like 50 years ago? A hundred years ago? Our railway heritage offers a glimpse of history
of what life and the world would have been like for those generations that came before us. The railways played an enormous role in forging our culture and economy during the 1800's and 1900s. It is no exaggeration to say that our State was built on the back of these wondrous machines, the tracks they rode on and the stations for farewells and homecomings.
The task of RailCorp's Office of Rail Heritage is to manage and protect the State owned railway heritage assets that offer impressions and snapshots of that history. Everything from classic steam locomotives, to vintage stationmaster uniforms, century-old carriages to quaint old station buildings and signal boxes. These are the things that help us imagine what life was like. Riding old trains, flipping through old photos, reading classic tales
this is how we relive the good ol' days.
The movement to save and conserve historical elements of our State railways began in the 1950s, as the steam engine was just starting to fade from prominence-replaced by sleek, 'new fangled' diesel and electric trains. From the 1930s onwards, pioneering organisations such as the Australian Railway Historical Society, and later the NSW Rail Transport Museum, took up the challenge of documenting and conserving this way of life. These groups strived to save elements of the past: the trains, the photos, the records. Today, the Rail Heritage network partners with the Office of Rail Heritage to bring together these elements of the past, striving to better tell the story of the NSW railways to the broadest audience possible, in the most interactive, inspiring way possible.
Today's rail network - with all its challenges - continues to change our culture and economy and is vital to the future.
For more information on the history of NSW railways see Thematic History of NSW Railways.