Lachlan Valley Railway Society has re-opened its heritage centre in Cowra.
Located in Campbell Street the centre is once again welcoming visitors after being closed for several months mainly due to Covid restrictions, but also the fact that it became too difficult to provide enough volunteers to ensure that all those wishing to enter were fully vaxed and not from a lock down area.
Heritage centre manager Ian Cameron, said the closure period was used to put the finishing touches to the new entrance precinct which is based around a fully reconditioned 1950's express rail car and it's accompanying trailer car.
"The entrance now allows wheel chair access via a ramp to an air conditioned entrance foyer which in turn allows visitors to visit a souvenir shop and refreshment area offering coffee, tea, soft drinks and snacks," Mr Cameron said.
The next section is a passenger saloon with reconditioned seating and tables where visitors can relax, before a walk through the trailer car leads to the roundhouse area and museum.
It is planned that a large screen TV will soon be installed in this car where a video featuring LVR steam trains will run on a continuous loop.
After exiting these cars visitors are welcome to follow the self guided tour information or join a guided tour.
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"Our old tour guide Eddie Gilfoil has moved on to northern NSW, however his long time back up man Hayden Holmes will be on hand much of the time to offer interesting and informative tours," Mr Cameron said.
"It is hoped that over the coming months we can entice more volunteers interested in the history of the site and NSW railways in general to join the team manning the entrance and conducting tours."
Other interesting developments on site include the continued work to bring steam locomotive 5367 (Rosie) back into service.
"This is intended to operate tourist trains on the Cowra to Holmwood section which is also under refurbishment by our volunteer track team," Mr Cameron said.
"The Depot now also has a regular diesel shunting locomotive (Planet) available under the command of driver Simon Bowden, aided by shunter Ian Wilson.
"This will allow carriages to be moved around the Depot for maintenance and display purposes," he said.
Anyone who is interested in joining the LVR team of volunteers is invited to call 02 99733245 and have a chat.
Lachlan Valley Railway is a not for profit society with a dedicated team of people working to preserve a piece of NSW railway history for future generations.
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