Illawarra Light Railroad Museum Celebrates 50 Years of Locomotive Train Fun | Mercury of Illawarra



A treasured museum with life-size toys loved by toddlers and grown men is about to celebrate 50 years in the Illawarra. Train conductor Brad Johns loves trains so much that when he’s not working with them, he plays with them at the Illawarra Light Railway Museum at Albion Park Rail. More: Globe Lane has a new bar, burrito shop and music festival. Mr. Johns has been a volunteer at the museum for almost as long as it has been running and is full of knowledge about the magnificent machines they house. “The draw is when our crew opens the firebox door, the kids will see the locomotive fire – it’s the heart of the engine that boils water to produce steam – and that’s the great fascination, when they hear that whistle, it’s unbelievable,” said the current treasurer of the museum. “To see a big smile on a child’s face, you know that [the museum open day] is a hit.” Steam trains are a rare sight in modern society, but the museum’s goal is to preserve this part of history by acquiring and restoring old maids of all kinds. In the early 1970s, the group were invited to rummage through the old Corrimal Colliery and grab whatever interests you from the disused trams. Read more: ‘Not so bad’: Club Thirroul is about to be refurbished in style. They also been invited to Far North Queensland to salvage an old sugar cane train used for transporting sugar. “It’s really a lot of effort for people to get this done, but people have the passion, it’s a labor of love,” Johns said. “We have a great group of people working together. We all have the same goal, to see this thing move for the first time; we’re all like bees to the honey, we stay to watch our tr avail.” Mr Johns was born into a family of railway workers with his parents, grandfather and brother all having some sort of involvement with trains, and now he wants to pass the passion on to younger generations. If you see him wandering the museum park, say “hello” as Mr. Johns will be able to share an abundance of history on steam trains, coal wagons, the history of Yallah Station (currently housed in the museum) and the model railway that children can borrow. The museum will celebrate its 50th anniversary on Sunday, February 13, with train rides starting at 10 a.m., as well as exhibits of vintage cars, vintage war vehicles, and vintage farm machinery. For more information visit: The Illawarra Mercury Newsroom is funded by our readers. You can subscribe to support our journalism here.



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