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Quirindi locals get a taste of the Golden Age of Rail

By Jessica Slade

On Thursday August 28, Liverpool Plains locals were treated to a visit from The Legend of Steam – Locomotive 3642. Built in 1926, the express passenger steam locomotive was decommissioned in 1969 before being recently refurbished for passenger tours.

The train chugged north from Maitland to Werris Creek, stopping at regional towns including Scone, Murrurundi and Quirindi before spending the night at Werris Creek Station. On Friday the locomotive made a round trip to Narrabri before moving on to Tamworth over the weekend, where excited families and train enthusiasts were treated to hour-long trips between Tamworth and Kootingal. It was a wonderful opportunity for kids to experience the excitement of steam train travel and for adults to celebrate our region’s rail heritage. Locomotive 3642 is a Class 36 engine, one of 75 used by the New South Wales Government Railways as its major passenger-carrying steam train.

The Quirindi region is a great area for train enthusiasts. The nearby community of Werris Creek is home to the multi award winning Australian Rail Monument and Rail Journeys Museum. Werris Creek is Australia’s first railway town and thrived on the steam era from the 1870s to the 1960s. Werris Creek Station was the third biggest behind Sydney and Newcastle, at one time employing 750 people.

The friendly community volunteers who run the venue – some of whom are ex-railway workers themselves – are very proud of the monument and museum, and are enthusiastic about educating visitors about the previously untold stories of the people of the railways. This unique approach attracts about 1000 visitors a month (pretty impressive for a rural town with a population of just over 1,400!) and is a great contributor to tourism in the region. There’s also an outdoor art installment of six towering steel sculptures of railway workers, and 2,700 names engraved on remembrance walls to recognise the sacrifice involved in the dangerous work of pioneering railways since 1850.

The museum is constantly being updated (including new audio visual displays) and is a must-visit for anyone interested in local heritage or the fascinating history of the railway in New South Wales. It’s located on Railway Avenue in Werris Creek and is open 10am-4pm, 7 days a week. Admission is by gold coin donation, which is invested directly back into the museum.

Are you interested in what Quirindi and the Liverpool Plains Region has to offer you and your family? Come and see the friendly team here at Ray White Rural Quirindi for a chat and professional advice on buying, selling and renting property across the region.

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