Last weekend we had a fantastic day out taking a steam train ride. It was truly a special family day to remember and after the hectic times of late (storms and power out for 6 days, sick kids, sick animals etc etc) it was great to spend the whole day together just having fun. We got talking a while ago about trains and train rides before we started checking out online if there were any steam train rides we could take. Transport Heritage NSW NSW lead us to find a trip on the Thirlmere Flyer which is housed and maintained at Trainworks in Thirlmere NSW in the Southern Highlands foothills. Our tickets included entry to Trainworks where we found Australia’s largest collection of vintage trains along with picnic facilities and fun activities for the kids.
We departed from Sydney’s Central Station (you can also board at Strathfield, Glenfield & Campbelltown) for our 2 hour steam train ride down south. Booking a whole compartment to ourselves was a great idea as a compartment seated 8 we took two friends with us so I didn’t have to worry about the kids disturbing others.
This was some of the 1st class seating. There are 300 or so active volunteers that keep Transport Heritage NSW going and they were so friendly and full of information which made the trip all the more enjoyable.
Our little boy loved waving through the open window at anyone who would wave back and along the way there were many. Further down south residents were outside their houses waiting for us to puff past and wave us along whilst any railway workers gave us a wave too. There is something about the chugga-chugga-toot-toot of a steam train that brings out a lovely side in people and brings back beautiful memories once forgotten.
He must have stood by the window watching the world go by for at least an hour.
Not long after this photo we bought some goggles and I would recommend you to bring some along for your steam train ride as my husband did get some cinders in his eye and struggled for a day to get them out. There is a buffet car on the train were you can purchase refreshments and snacks along with souvenirs and goggles to protect your eyes.
Beautiful polished wooden carriage corridor outside our compartment made for some perfect photo opportunities.
Once you reach Trainworks the Museum is amazing. You can walk inside the train carriages and explore the train memorabilia like these station signs.
Do you remember these train ticket stubs? I remember my Dad using these and wish we had kept some. This is quite a collection!
How about the inside of this Red Rattler, does it bring back memories?
I remember the S.R.A. (State Rail Authority) logos stamped into the vinyl seats.
The kids had fun at Trainworks and enjoyed the space to play and explore. There were 3 jumping castles, a life-size Thomas to investigate, face painting, climbing structure and play equipment as well as mini trains to ride and food / coffee / ice-cream stalls.
On our return journey to Central Station we were hauled by a Classic Diesel locomotive to arrive back at 5pm so it was a fun filled day of trains! We bought a few raffle tickets during our ride and happened to be 2nd place winners receiving a $100 voucher for another train ride so we’ll definitely be going again.
Have you ever been on a steam train? Do you remember going on one as a child?