Richmond Vale Railway Museum has steamed into the school holidays after celebrating the historic site’s reopening at the weekend.
The museum, located about four kilometres south of Kurri Kurri, was formed in 1979 and contains precious stock from the Hunter Region’s rich industrial history.
While the NSW Government announced that museums could reopen from 1 June, chairman Peter Meddows said that, with long grass to cut and intensive cleaning and preparations required, it took volunteers a little longer to do so safely.
However, after three months of COVID-induced shutdown, the museum was excited to bring its displays and train rides back to visitors on Sunday.
Popular steam locomotive, Marjorie, built in 1938 and withdrawn from service in 1972, will not be among the attractions for the time being.
“At this time, and until we are secure in operations, our full-sized trains will be diesel-hauled,” Mr Meddows said.
“Marjorie was placed in dry storage at shutdown and it is impractical to bring her back into service while our situation is uncertain.”
There is ample space in the grounds for visitors to move around safely, but clear capacity signage will be posted for interior spaces in order to maintain social distancing.
The museum has also installed multiple hand sanitiser stations across the site to ensure proper hygiene, while train carriages will have specific occupancy limits and will be disinfected between journeys.
The museum display rooms, canteen and souvenir shop will be open under strict social distancing guidelines.
“Our volunteer staff will soon be identified with blue vests so that visitors can seek assistance more readily,” Mr Meddows said.
“We are always open to the involvement of new volunteers to join our workforce and maintain the museum’s operations and displays for the enjoyment of the community.”
The museum is located at 262 Leggetts Drive, Richmond Vale.
It is open on the first three Sundays of each month, including during the school holidays, from 9.30am.
Entry fees are adults $16.50; concession $11; children aged 5-15 $7.50; and under 5 free.
Visit the museum’s website for more information.