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A new centre for heritage transport at Chullora - Eveleigh Implications

On 30 November 2018 Transport for NSW announced a new Heritage transport centre at Chullora. The media release below, along with the factsheet also below, made specific reference to the Large Erecting Shop (LES) at Eveleigh as being "adapted for new uses". The ATP sale sale to Mirvac contained a provision which allows it first right of refusal to the LES if not required by Transport for NSW. The media statement also makes reference to the Paint Shop at Eveleigh but it is not referenced as being "adapted for new uses". The text of the statement and the fact sheet are below.

A new centre for heritage transport at Chullora

NSW’s most significant heritage trains and carriages will be better protected and preserved under a new plan to move heritage assets from across the State to a new undercover facility at Chullora in Sydney’s west.

A lack of available space has meant heritage rolling stock located at Eveleigh and Broadmeadow were being left out on open sidings exposed to the weather making them harder to restore and preserve.

The facility at Chullora will house locomotives, carriages and rolling stock as well as other heritage items all undercover.

The workshops at Chullora will offer secure undercover storage for the heritage fleet, heavy lifting cranes, turntable facilities and the space needed to undertake restoration.

Chullora will offer a one stop shop for maintenance and restoration, which is only partially available at existing sites.

It also means most of the collection is together, making it easier to manage in the centre of Sydney, whilst enabling better access for volunteers to work on the rolling stock.Moving to Chullora will mean Transport Heritage NSW will no longer have assets at Eveleigh including the Large Erecting Shop or the Broadmeadow Roundhouse precinct.

To ensure the Chullora site is suitable and ready, the NSW Government has committed an initial $8 million to make this a world-class heritage maintenance and storage facility.

The new facilities will also offer temporary storage for operators needing to stable heritage trains close to Central, making it easier for heritage operators to offer the increasingly popular experience of riding on a heritage train.

While the Eveleigh and Broadmeadow sites’ link to the State’s rail history are well known, the site at Chullora also had a strong heritage having been an important location for railway maintenance for more than 70 years.

Although the moveable heritage collection will no longer have a presence at Eveleigh and Broadmeadow, the Government is committed to the preservation of important buildings including the Large Erecting Shop and Broadmeadow Roundhouse which will be adapted for new uses.

It is important to note that this proposal does not impact on the continuation of the NSW Rail Museum at Thirlmere, an important part of NSW rail heritage.

Today’s announcement builds on the success of the NSW Government’s approach to heritage transport over the past five years which has included the establishment of Transport Heritage NSW, a not for profit registered charity supported by volunteers and funded by the NSW Government, dedicated to preserving and making more accessible our precious transport heritage.

Since the formation of Transport Heritage NSW in 2013, attendance at the NSW Rail Museum and heritage railway events right across NSW is up substantially.

Transport Heritage NSW‘s commitment to preserving heritage transport has resulted in a notable increase in locomotive restorations, with more heritage trains running on the network.

That’s a testament to the hard work of dedicated volunteers who want to preserve this important history and share it with others.

Today’s announcement will secure the future for these volunteers and for our rail heritage.

More information on the new Chullora site and moveable heritage can be found at  www.transportheritagensw.com.au/chullora

 

Transport for NSW Factsheet November, 2018

HERITAGE COLLECTION AND CHULLORA FACTSHEET

 QUICK FACTS

 

  • Proximity of Chullora: 15km from CBD and 77km from Thirlmere.
  • First moves to Chullora: 1913 when Minister for Works identified Chullora to alleviate pressure off Eveleigh.
  • Size of State heritage fleet: 220 items of rolling stock.
  • Size of Chullora site: Approximately 3.5ha of undercover space with a total land area of nearly 9ha.
  • No. Locos in operation (steam/diesel): 7 steam locomotives in our current fleet, including those owned by the State and those under loan/lease/operation agreements.
  • No. carriages needing cover: 96 items of rolling stock.
  • Total lineal length of track required to consolidate Broadmeadow Roundhouse, Large Erecting Shed and Paint Shop: Over 2km of track. Around 2.5km of track will be required to put everything undercover that currently doesn’t have permanent cover over it (this includes items at Thirlmere).
  • No. of small objects: approx. 5,000 small objects in storage and on display around NSW.
  • Oldest Precinct at Chullora: Boiler shop precinct with Building No 2 completed 1925 and Building No 1 completed 1926.
  • Locomotive Workshop Precinct Chullora: dates from 1927 (Building No 20).
  • Turntable: built 1928; 75 feet in length and able to turn all engines/rolling stock.

 

FAQs

Why is the Chullora Heritage Hub being created?

Currently heritage rolling stock is located across several sites, with much of it out in the  open and exposed to the weather. With many items well over a century old, they are fragile. Bringing the items together at Chullora will mean all items can be stored undercover at a central location where better management outcomes for the collection can be achieved. In addition, it provides a more efficient location for staging main line heritage train operations.

Who is Transport Heritage NSW?

Following a NSW Government review into the State’s heritage transport sector in 2013, Transport Heritage NSW was established to manage a portfolio of heritage assets, operate two rail museums, deliver heritage experiences to the public and develop the heritage transport sector by providing support services to community groups. Transport Heritage NSW is a not-for-profit member based company and registered charity.

Will this mean other operators will lose temporary storage facilities?

No. There will be temporary stabling facilities at Chullora similar to what currently exists at Eveleigh.

What will this mean for Eveleigh and Broadmeadow?

When Chullora comes online, these sites will no longer be required for our heritage fleet. The NSW Government commits to the preservation of important buildings including the Large Erecting Shop and Broadmeadow Roundhouse which will be adapted for new uses.

What does this mean for the NSW Rail Museum, Thirlmere?

The NSW Rail Museum will remain the premiere museum site for rail heritage in NSW. Some items currently stored at Thirlmere may be moved to Chullora as part of moves to get heritage items undercover. This will release much needed space for future museum  projects.

What does it mean for volunteers?

Chullora presents a unique once in a generation opportunity to unify volunteers from across the heritage transport sector in one central location, to preserve, share and develop the rare skills and knowledge required to maintain our heritage assets.

What does it mean for preservation of our moveable heritage?

Bringing the collection together will make management and the identification of issues easier. Putting items under one roof will lead to better preservation outcomes. Chullora also offers lifting facilities, space and turntable facilities not available at other sites, meaning that the tools needed for restorations are available within a single precinct.

Will the public have access to the site?

Long term plans will consider public access to the site. However, initially the precinct will be for volunteers, storage and restoration projects.

What does this mean for heritage transport groups?

The NSW Government recently announced its Future Transport & Tourism Strategy where it committed to continued support of heritage train operations as a way of growing the visitor economy. With the support of Transport Heritage NSW, Chullora presents an opportunity for heritage train operators to stage main line operations more efficiently. It also provides an opportunity for other reputable heritage transport (rail, bus and tram) groups with legitimate restoration projects and storage challenges, to have a presence at the new heritage transport hub.

When will the Chullora Heritage Hub be operational?

The detailed planning work for the Chullora Heritage Hub will commence in early 2019. Further information will be made available once this detailed planning is underway.

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