Illawarra Light Railway Museum
The kids will love taking a ride on a miniature train, being in the open air and whizzing along the small track. They can also take a seat in the restored historical carriage while the big steam or diesel locomotive that hauls them out of the station, chugging along the track through the bushland setting passing by the platform where they can wave to the people on the platform. Complete a fun day out with a picnic in the grounds, where the kids can play on the playground equipment.
The Illawarra Light Railway Museum Society Limited volunteer operated was first founded in 1972 and set up the museum at the current site at Albion Park NSW in 1974 and the charter is to society is to restore and collect narrow gauge light railway locomotives and rolling stock from tramways, coal mines and Australia’s sugar Cain industry. The museum has some local historical railway buildings including the 1915 signal box from Otford (north of Wollongong). See the signal levers and other items that controlled the signals on the Illawarra line for more than 70 years. The original Yallah Station built in 1890 is the platform to wait on until your next ride.
The Tramway Dining Car that is a converted former NSWGR LFA passenger car is opened for light refreshments and souvenir sales on the running days. You can find out more about the origins of the museum at the Ken McCarthy Museum Building that houses items of light railway artefacts, photographs and memorabilia of Australian light railways and tramways.
The museum running days with train rides are on the Second Sunday of each month, from 11am to 4:00pm. On these running days steam and diesel locomotives operate. Kids can take in a ride around the bushland setting at Albion Park. There are extra running days with train rides during school holidays. Please check the events calendar for dates. The museum is open on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays for visitor’s a small fee is required for a guided shed tour of the ILRMS locomotive shed that houses the bulk of the collections, note that these are our working days and public inspections are welcome. As a safety requirement, persons wishing to have a guided locomotive shed tour or travel on the miniature train ride must wear enclosed footwear, School educational visits are a specialty and are very welcome. Other group visits such as seniors and motoring clubs can also be arranged. Illawarra Light Railway Museum has a commitment to educate the public in the mechanics, manufacture and operation of steam engines and other mechanical devices used for light railway operations and industry that has been the charter since the society’s foundation in 1972. The museum site which includes the parkland setting, playground equipment and bbq areas are available for hire for private functions such as Christmas Parties, Weddings or Social Club functions. Site hire can be organised with or without the railway in operation. Depending on your budget, you may choose from the miniature railway, diesel or steam train or go for all the options refer to the museums web site www.ilrms.com.au for hire and charges! The shelters in the picnic area can be reserved on running days for groups. Book ahead to avoid disappointment! You can also show your support for the Illawarra Light Railway Museum by becoming a member which gives you a chance to become involved with the activities and restoration works undertaken by the museum.
Hours: 10:00am - 2.:30pm Tuesdays & Thursdays for inspections. Train rides 2nd Sunday of each month-10am to 4pm. The museum is closed Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day.