The museums are open 7 days a week during NSW school holidays!




There is plenty to see and do

The museum holds Australia’s largest public model railway and the world’s largest permanent BRIO set, and will display a changing program of travelling and temporary exhibitions.


Bathurst Rail Museum's First Year


The Layout Gallery

As large as a tennis court, the Bathurst Rail Museum HO scale Layout (or model railway) of the Main West Line depicts the railway from Tarana to Bathurst during the 1950s to 60s.


Timeline Wall

Follow the history of rail in Bathurst from the challenges faced to build a railway across the mountains, to the arrival of the railway in 1876, and how it transformed the economic, industrial and social landscape of New South Wales.

Woven through the timeline are the stories of local people and their experiences of life on the rail.


Railway Institute Building

As Bathurst became a major railway centre with a thriving locomotive depot, the Railway Institute building was established in 1909 to support the railway workers’ community.

The building, which served to meet the educational and social needs of the workers and their families for over 80 years, has been repurposed and extended as the home of the Bathurst Rail Museum.

Ben Chifley

Learn about the life of Bathurst local Ben Chifley, from railwayman to trade unionist and later, the Prime Minister of Australia.


Local Stories Cabinet

The Local Stories Cabinet offers visitors a glimpse into the heart of Bathurst as a railway town. Local people tell their personal and family stories through objects and images.

If you have a local story you would like to share with the public and are willing to lend objects and images to the Museum for temporary display, please send us your details with a brief description of your objects, your connection to Bathurst rail and story.

You can read some of the local stories.

The O’Connell Family

The Cole Family

Michael Burrell



Layout Gallery

The Centrepiece of the layout gallery is the HO scale Layout of the Great Western Line that depicts the railway during the 1950s to 60s. The layout was commissioned by Paul Hennessy and donated to Bathurst Regional Council in 2015 by the Hennessy family. It was designed by master modeller John Brown.


Historical Objects

Also on display, are a range of objects that relate to life on the rail.  They include tools, staff instruments and signals, a weigh bridge, signs, lamps used on the rail, examples of cutlery and crockery used in the dining cars and refreshment rooms, personal effects of the railway worker as well as objects relating to the Railway Institute building itself.


The museum is a fun and educational destination for families.

There’s plenty for people of all ages to see and do at the Bathurst Rail Museum.

Join in the fun or relax with a coffee while the children enjoy playing in Kids Central, the Museum’s creative play gallery. With a Refreshment Room cubby house, a reading nook and an enormous BRIO train set, the gallery is designed to inspire little ones to use their imagination as they explore, play and learn.

Be mesmerised by the extraordinary rail layout and display or fascinated by the local rail stories.

Due to social distancing requirements access to Kids Central may be limited.