The Hunter Valley’s favourite railway destination, the Richmond Vale Railway Museum, is to reopen for public operations on Sunday 4 March.
The museum has been closed since September 2017, following significant damage to the site by a deliberately-lit bushfire.
The disastrous fire damaged railway track and historic rollingstock, also destroying almost all of the unrestored rollingstock stored in the museum grounds.
“Over the last few months we have been working with Cessnock City Council and our friends in the railway fraternity to bring the museum back,” said Peter Meddows, the museum’s chairman.
“We’ve had tremendous support from our volunteers, members of the public, kindred societies and railway professionals.”
“We are particularly grateful to significant companies in the railway engineering field, who have donated resources and labour to ensure that our museum can reopen for rail operations.”
“We still have a way to go, with a major bridge repair yet to be funded, but being able to run trains on our Mulbring Road branch demonstrates that we will continue the rebuilding process.”
“The Mayor of Cessnock, Cllr Bob Pynsent, will cut the ribbon to recommence services at 10.00am on the day.”
“These short shuttle services will demonstrate to our visitors the extent of damage to the site and exhibits, but also show the work put in by volunteers and supporters to allow us to reopen.”
The museum gates will open at 9.30am on Sunday 4 March. Shuttle services will operate on the Mulbring Road branch throughout the day. Miniature train rides will also be available, the mining museum will be open, and canteen services will be available.
Entry to the museum is $16 adults, $11 concession, $7.50 children 5-15, with under fives free.
The museum will resume its normal operating schedule from March, being open for the first three Sundays of the month, as well as school holiday Sundays.