Address: 10 Barbour Road, Thirlmere 2572 Distance: 95kms or 1.5hrs drive south of Sydney (M5) Tel: 1300 11 55 99
On weekends in January and Sundays (only) in February, the museum hosts historic Summer Heritage Train Rides, 45-min rides from Thirlmere Station to Buxton and return. Pre-booking is not required. You'll be up for the cost of museum entry plus train ride ($35 per adult and $12.50 per child - under 4s FREE).
On the 1st weekend in March annually, the Museum hosts the Festival of Steam - (3rd and 4th in 2018). It's a family community event held to mark the opening of steam season. Entry to the Festival precinct is FREE but other activities inside the Museum and a train ride is priced at $30 per adult and $10 per child. Bookings are required.
And if you miss these events early in the year, no need to worry. The Museum is open to visitors 7 days a week, excluding Good Friday and Christmas Day
Sydney Tramway Museum image c/o- sydneytramwaymuseum.com.au
Open every Wednesday and Sunday, this Museum, celebrating tram history in Sydney, is a gem for those in the know. On Sunday 25th of February, the site will host its annual Vintage Tramway Festival, celebrating the former Sydney tram network. Festival Day is the only opportunity for the public to ride some of the 100-year-old (plus) trams, so don't miss out. Rides for the day are priced at $20 for adults and $10 for children (under 5s FREE). Bookings advised for large groups.
If you can't make this particular celebration, don't worry, you can visit on a regular opening day or check back to the Museum's Events Page for upcoming events throughout the year.
Live Steam Locomotive Society image c/o- slsls.asn.au
Address: Cnr Anthony Rd & Betts St, West Ryde NSW 2114 (next to West Ryde Marketplace carpark) Telephone: (02) 9874 8696
For those on the north and north-west side of Sydney, this is the place to go for your train fix. It's open to the public on the 3rd Saturday afternoon of each month from 1.30pm to 4.30pm (next date being 18th of February).
The site has three miniature railways which offer rides on trains hauled by miniature steam locomotives. The park grounds are a popular location for children's birthday parties or small group afternoon gatherings.
Rides are a complete bargain at $1 each per person, per go (cash only), in addition to site entry at $2 per adult and $1 per child. There is also a kiosk available for snacks. Just remember to wear enclosed shoes, to be eligible to ride.
Address: Jamieson Street, Sydney Olympic Park 2127 Parking - Blaxland Riverside Park, 3hr restrictions - arrive early Telephone: 02 9714 7888
One of the best family activities at Sydney Olympic Park is to visit the historic Newington Armoury. Did you know that every Sunday from 9.30am - 10.45am, the site hosts a guided Heritage Railway Discovery Tour and there is FREE entry? While you are there, you can also enjoy a 'Ride the Rails' experience on-board the historic railway that was once used to move missiles and torpedoes around the Armament Depot. Rides are active Sundays between 11am - 1pm, on the half hour.
Sydney's first steam locomotive is on display at the Powerhouse
If an actual train ride on a steam engine is what you are desperate for, see all of the above. The Powerhouse Museum is the place to go for families with older kids and mums and dads who are real train buffs and it's centrally located.
Locomotive No. 1 is a permanent exhibition at the Powerhouse and it brings to life the age of steam travel, which began in 1855 with the locomotive on display. The exhibition recreates a journey from Sydney to Parramatta in 1863 and visitors can peer at the characters and overhear their conversations on a typical 19th century train journey. You can also sit in the vastly different first, second and third class carriages. This interactive exhibition is FREE with museum entry ($15 for adults and children under 16 are FREE).
And while you are there, The Steam Revolution is another related exhibition. There are twelve steam engines, ‘hands-on’ displays, old boilers, videos and more showing how steam engines developed, what they did and how they changed the world. See the engines in action each day from 10.15am - 11.30am. Free with museum entry.
We had a great day out at the Festival of Steam some few years back and even took the steam train from Central to get there. Must relive the experience with our grandson this year. Thanks for the reminder, Brydie.