TUMUT RAILWAY STATION AND YARD REBORN
I had been specially invited to Tumut on my railway tour of April 2011. People were interested to have me see the grand reopening of the Tumut railway station which had spent the few years being restored and converted into a community business landmark for readaptive uses.
Tumut’s railway station and yard is located on the western edge of the town. It was developed in the early 1900s and opened with much celebration in 1903, to provide Tumut with access to NSW via use of the railway system.
The line to Tumut branched off at Gilmore around 6km away. Gilmore connected to the Cootamundra line and was also the junction for the branch line to Batlow. Gilmore had multiple tracks and platforms for the train movements. A signal box, toilet building and platform remains are rumoured to be still present.
Tumut station is of a medium size with a booking office, station master office, waiting room, ladies toilet room and parcel room. Nearby are located a very significant intact lamp room / male toilet and remains of a foot warmer oven. A large goods shed is located in the yard down from the station. Most of the rooms in the station building are now reused for a community business purposes.
Located around the yard can be seen various types of frame levers which are still intact.
A loading bank is still visible opposite the station to the south west.
Tumut was designated as a terminus station for the branch line (as was Batlow), so it had a small locomotive siding built to the west of the station. This siding was used to replenish the steam locomotives with coal, water and provide crews with a rest/barrack building. A turntable, shed and coal stage were built alongside a water tank. Most of the infrastructure has been removed except for i understand the turntable and this is located somewhere in the large grassy yard area
On the reopening day April 23rd 2011 around 100 -150 people were present at the ceremony, including the local Tumut mayor, the local state and federal politicians i recall and many of the hard volunteers who had done much work with the council project to restore the yard.
I managed after the reopening to talk to the mayor and the federal member for Monaro on my why i was at the opening. They were interested someone from Sydney had come so far. I explained to them railway tourism is a business that towns can make money out if it is done properly.
After the ceremony was over, i wandered around viewing the station layout and taking many photos. It was amazing to see old and new photos – 1903 and 2011. What a change.
Ever since the line was closed in 1984 due to flooding and damage, Tumut has been cut off from NSW with train services. In the 1990s-2000s a small railway group tried to some restoration at Tumut and run some trains i am lead to believe but didnt remain viable.
The current Council supported project is well run by a capable team of council officials and volunteers. More can be seen at this link – http://126.96.36.199/tscv2/about_Council/committees/Railway/railway.asp – regarding their plans for Tumut railway yard – with maybe roillingstock on display one day if plans work out.
Tumut is also well known due to an amazing modelling group, which has for the last few years built a section of the Tumut to Gilmore railway line for public display at assorted events.. They are now expanding and building Batlow and Gundagai stations in the future. See the link for their extensive webpage and their hard work in replicating the Tumut branch line in railway model scale workings – http://www.users.on.net/~pprewett/Tumut/index.htm
My photos are shown below covering the ceremony, station layout, yard and goods shed.
Tumut is a wonderful example like many of the other southern NSW railways being restored to preserve the local heritage and memories.