Trainworks have very successfully created a theme park.
But then, what would I know.
As is fairly typical for any kind of enthusiast debate about heritage, a valid argument can always be replaced with comments in a similar vein to those above. Stating your point with examples to back it up is clearly too much for some people, so they prefer to make comments like the above to make it sound like any conflicting opinions must therefore be wrong.
If people don't want to adapt, they're more than welcome to their opinion, and nobody is going to dispute that. Sadly, nobody can dispute that a lot of money has been poured into the museum, and it's not unreasonable for the museum to adapt a more modern attitude to keep up with todays culture. People just don't go to museums anymore just to look at static things, they need to be engaged. Interactive displays, self-guided audio tours and the like are all staples of modern museums, and without them, museums become nothing more than stale, boring collections of "things".
In all honestly, while the old NSWRTM had a lot of exhibits, and it was always interesting when viewed through the eyes of a child, later visits saw uneven floors and exhibits crammed in, all in various states of disrepair (I mean no disrespect to anybody involved, the point I am trying to make is that there were too many exhibits and not enough hands to maintain them while restoring new exhibits). Perhaps the knife was cut too deep, and too much was removed - I'll concede that, but something had to be done. On a personal level, if I wasn't already interested in trains, and if I didn't know what I was looking at, the old NSWRTM would have held the appeal of a fart in an elevator. I would have had no more interest in going to the NSWRTM as I would in visiting a large shed full of different types of plane. Now, I *would* be somewhat interested in visiting a well laid out, interactive, modern and user-friendly museum of the history of aircraft (this is just an example, of course).
Some people can't get into the state of mind that today's day and age is not like the previous one - visiting museums and the like was a fairly typical "Sunday family activity". With the accessibility of the internet, advances in gaming, etc, the modern family unit is far different from any that preceeded it.
I say again, adapt or die. You cannot
run a museum purely catering to enthusiasts. Might get away with it in Japan, England or The USA, but Australia has not the population of railfans required to keep such a thing above board.
Don't get me wrong, in a perfect world, such a museum would be viable, and I would love nothing more than to see such an animal exist. Sadly, it's not likely to, so I make concessions in my expectations where appropriate. YMMV.