Apr 20, 2015

Valley Heights

Recently our walking group paid a visit to the Valley Heights Locomotive Depot Heritage Museum in Valley Heights, near Springwood in the Blue Mountains. The depot is the home of three groups: The Locomotive Depot Heritage Museum, the Steam Tramway, and a Model Railway group. The photo below shows the steam tram during the Centenary of the Locomotive Depot celebrations last year.                        Location map

Steam Tram 103a, at Valley Heights

We were shown around and told something of its history. The goods engines based at Valley Heights assisted almost every freight and passenger train destined for Mt. Victoria, Lithgow and beyond, over the longest continual and most steeply graded mainline in Australia.  

Steam operations from Valley Heights ended in 1957, but electric locomotives continued to assist steam hauled trains to Katoomba until electrification was completed. In latter years the depot become a freight wagon and electric locomotive repair workshop, and remained in use until 1988.

The museum  exhibits include:
- a Goods Steam Locomotive,
- a 46 class Electric Locomotive (built in 1956),  - an Ice Van and various other rolling stock.  There is also rail heritage displays and memorabilia.

The depot is usually open to the public on the 2nd & 4th Sunday each month.

The carriage seen in the photo (right) is the beautifully restored "Caves Express" First Class carriage. The carriage was in use in the late 1920s and 30s on the Caves Express between Sydney and Mount Victoria. The photo below shows a section of the kitchen in the same carriage.

 A railway model (below) shows the depot as it once was, with roundhouse, turntable and steep timber trestle leading to the elevated coal stage storage bin.

The volunteer workers at the Depot have achieved some impressive results. It was a very interesting morning, topped off after lunch, with a pleasant 5.75km walk around a nearby fire trail. My thanks to all involved.

           We ended our walk at Valley Heights station.                    GPS trace map 

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