Wollondilly residents were treated to the iconic sound of a historic steam train chugging its way through the shire recently.
A 116-year-old Locomotive 3265 train was back on the tracks at Thirlmere’s NSW Rail Museum and took passengers on a journey through the region on November 25.
Transport Heritage NSW chief executive Andrew Moritz said the steam train was first restored in 2009 by a dedicated team at Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum.
Mr Moritz said the locomotive had “travelled far and wide” since then but required a mechanical overhaul over the past three years before returning to action at Thirlmere.
He said works included repairing the driving wheels, testing all safety components and overhauling the brake system.
“It’s always exciting to see a piece of history make a return and the 3265 certainly took us on a ride back in time,” Mr Moritz said.
“Nearly 300 pre-booked tickets were sold for the first day of passenger shuttles.
“Several hundred train enthusiasts arrived on the day to see the steam train in action and there were a lot of very happy customers.”
The Locomotive 3265 was commissioned in January 1902 and was in continual service around the state for 66 years.
Mr Moritz said the steam train travelled nearly three million kilometres during that period and was viewed as a “very reliable engine”.
The locomotive was acquired by the Museum of Applied Arts and Science.
“It’s always exciting to see a piece of history make a return and the Locomotive 3265 certainly took us on a ride back in time."Transport Heritage NSW chief executive Andrew Moritz
Mr Moritz said the museum entered a partnership with Transport Heritage NSW in 2015 to provide the train with “continued care, preservation and operation”.
The 3265 will now be based in Thirlmere and will continue to run sporadic passenger rides.
Mr Moritz said the train might also be used for major events in Sydney and regional NSW in the future.
He thanked all staff and volunteers who had helped to restore the 3265.
“It’s no small feat to work on historic locomotives,” Mr Moritz said.
“They’ve done a fantastic job bringing the 3265 back to life for the people of NSW.”
For more information, visit the NSW Rail Museum website.