Members of the Oberon Tarana Heritage Railway are about to embark on a historic journey that will see the restoration of a carriage believed to be the only one of its type left in New South Wales.
The project to return Carriage HS 36 to its former glory is being made possible thanks to a NSW Government grant of $184,020.
Member for Bathurst Paul Toole visited the headquarters of the Oberon Tarana Heritage Railway (OTHR) at Oberon Station to announce funding for the renovation rescue.
“This carriage dates back to 1891 when it first entered service as only one of 12 composite branch-line sleeping cars, making it a very rare piece of rolling stock,” Mr Toole said.
“It was taken out of service in 1964 and now has State Heritage significance as an example of an all compartment carriage that illustrates late 19th Century developments in carriage construction.
“The OTHR has secured the carriage on permanent loan from Transport for NSW and the funding means it can be restored to its original condition as a long term project."
President of the OTHR, Greg Bourne, said their aim is to restore the carriage so it can be used for periodic operations.
“This would allow the public to experience the feel of rail travel as it relates to the late 1800s as well the period the carriage is restored to, being the 1930s to 1960s,” he said.
“There are many images of the H 36 on the Oberon Tarana pioneer line. Many of the local residents travelled to school in this carriage at the time and some of them still live in the town.”
Mr Bourne said that one of the drivers for the work to restore and preserve the HS 36 for the benefit of their organisation is to support its history and the history of one of the few remaining intact pioneer railways in NSW.
“There is great interest in heritage rail and the interest extends to local people and tourists wanting to experience travel on a state heritage item,” he said.