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Our links are divided into several groups, covering rail enthusists sites, Cooma attractions, and
accomodation in the Cooma area. This page will continue to be augmented as opportunities permit.
http://www.railmotorsociety.org.au is the site for the Rail Motor Society, based at Paterson, near Dungog NSW. It contains, amongst other things, an excellent history and technical appraisal of the CPH Railmotor.
A Rail Motor Society visit to the Royal National Park in Sydney's south.
At the 150 Years of NSW Railways celebration weekend, it was good to see the Rail Motor Society in action there. Based at the Mortuary Platform, they were giving rides using their well known units CPH 7 and CPH 1. CMR's John Wynes was again the man on the spot for a photo.
Of course, CMR is not the only group to have restored a CPH recently. CPH 18 was given a total rebirth by State Rail Apprentices and is now based at the RTM Thirlmere. It was on display at Central Station during the 150 Years of NSW Railways celebration (without markings), where CMR member Peter Lawrence took this fine portrait. It can be seen on the RTM website http://www.nswrtm.org/ by clicking on the 'Museum Exhibits' and 'NSWGR Passenger Carriages' links, where it is part of a comprehensive history of the CPHs there under 'CPH18'.
We are also aware of the great effort that the Glenreagh Mountain Railway was making to restore CPH 11. GMR are not currently operational, but are working to restore their infrastructure to return to operational status. See their site at http://www.gmr.org.au. Given this hive of activity, we can look forward to the time when many of the original 37 units in the class will be in running order at various locations around the state.
http://www.railpage.org.au/ is the leading site for rail enthusiasts in Australia. Copious amounts of information, picture libraries, links locally and overseas, and much more is available here.
http://www.nswrail.net is Rolf Bozier's magnificent site detailing the infrastructure of NSW railways, especially on the abandoned branch lines.
http://www.freewebs.com/aunewenglandrailwayinc/ New England Railway Inc. is a Volunteer based Heritage Tourist Railway group with bases at Armidale, Glen Innes and Jennings/Wallangarra in the Northern Tablelands of New South Wales Australia. New England plans to run a tourist passenger service from Armidale to Wallangarra, starting off with short destinations when access becomes available.
http://railway.yass.com.au/ provides information on the Yass Railway Museum. Located in the town, the YRM exhibits a host of railway memorabilia housed in it's original station building and includes static displays of original period steam engines, carriages and goods vans.
www.arhsact.org.au/ will take you to The Australian Railway Historical Society (ACT), which operates steam and CPH railmotors on the Michelago Tourist Railway, inter-state train tours, the Canberra Railway Museum and a CountryLink Ticketing Agency.
(Now here's an idea - why not combine a railway tour of Cooma, Canberra and Yass into one weekend.)
Brian Leedham is a Central Coast (NSW) based enthusiast who has created a number of sites to do with railcars and also the New England and Binnaway groups. His site(s) can be accessed through www.freewebs.com/neriau/ .
Heritage Rail Operations
The best known heritage railway in NSW is the Zig Zag Railway (http://www.zigzagrailway.com.au/). It appeals to children and adults alike, especially those who once rode behind steam locomotives on the way to school or on holidays. It is a magical step back in time, filled with sights, sounds and smells of a bygone era. Every trip from Clarence Station winds its way through the remarkable Blue Mountains’ scenery, offering glimpses of grand sandstone viaducts, accompanied by the chuffing steam locomotive. It is a chance to appreciate the difficult terrain that confronted the builders and marvel at how they brought the railway down into the Lithgow Valley and on westward. Trains run daily (except Christmas Day) at 11am, 1pm, 3pm from Clarence Station. Additional trains run on Sundays and some public holidays.
http://www.igoulburn.com/Attractions/GoulburnRailHeritageCentre.aspx is the link to introduce you to the Goulburn Roundhouse. The group operates a working Roundhouse housing heritage locomotives (steam and diesel), rolling stock and railway ephemera, with tours being guided by Goulburn Roundhouse staff. They are open from Tuesday to Sunday each week.
Another excellent roundhouse to visit is at Junee - see http://www.roundhousemuseum.com.au/. They are now open seven days a week for guided tours.
http://www.puffingbilly.com.au/ is the website for Australia's most famous steam train railway. Located at Belgrave in the scenic Dandenong Ranges near Melbourne, trains run every day of the year except Christmas Day.
And while you are in the area east of Melbourne, an easy 2 hour drive into the Gippsland district's Baw Baw Ranges brings you to Walhalla Historic Township and the Walhalla Goldfields Railway. Both town and railway have a fascinating history to explore. Trains typically operate on weekends and mid-week. Refer to http://www.walhallarail.com/ for information.
Other Railway Related Sites
The Office of Rail Heritage (RailCorp) works with a range of volunteer-run heritage organisations in NSW communities which continue to undertake the day-to-day conservation and management of the State's significant railway heritage assets. The ORH is actively:
Applying an asset management approach to the core collection of State railway heritage items
Working with railway heritage groups and strategic partners to conserve these assets
Supporting the development and transfer of heritage conservation skills between generations
Valuing and building on railway heritage volunteering
Their very interesting website is at www.nswrailheritage.com.au.
http://www.perisher.com.au/resort-information/getting-to-perisher/skitube.html will give you details of the operation of Skitube, accessing the Snowy high country.
http://www.staterail.nsw.gov.au/ - Rail Corporation New South Wales.
http://www.transport.nsw.gov.au/ is the NSW Ministry of Transport. This site has lots of good links to both Australia and overseas.
Attractions in the Cooma Monaro
http://www.visitcooma.com.au/ contains contact details for the Cooma Visitors Centre, who can give you full information on attractions and accommodation in the Cooma Monaro area.
If you are coming to the Snowy Mountains, you can also check the information available at VisitNSW.com. Go to http://www.visitnsw.com/destinations/snowy-mountains and see what they have to offer. Of course, VisitNSW doesn't just cover the Snowies, but many destinations within the various areas of the state. It's a very handy resource for planning a trip anywhere in NSW.
http://www.snowyhydro.com.au/ gives you access to the Snowy Mountains Hydo Electric Authority (SMHEA). After skiing, the Snowy Mountains scheme is the biggest attraction in the mountains. The website gives a comprehensive view of SMHEA's operations and facilities for tourists, including details of dam visits etc.
http://platypuscountry.org.au/3992.html points you to the Bombala Visitors Centre, which is located in the Railway Park. CMR is currently assisting in the establishment of a railway precinct display at the Park. The Visitors Centre is open Monday to Saturday 10am to 4pm.
http://www.canberragliding.org/ is the site of the Canberra Gliding Club. Gliding is arguably the most challenging and beautiful form of flying available. The Canberra Club operate out of Bunyan (the Railway's half way point) and offer pilot training in gliders, trial instructional flights, where you can fly the aircraft under instruction, and joy flights, all conducted by experienced qualified members, in modern fibreglass aircraft.
Attractions in nearby areas
During your travels, if you go anywhere near
Bega you must visit the Bega Cheese Heritage Centre (see
It is located just north of town, on the banks of the
The Centre is a faithful reproduction of one of the first buildings to be constructed on the Bega Cheese site in 1899. It has a comprehensive display of cheese and butter making equipment from the turn of the 19th Century. You can have lunch there, taste and buy the different varieties of the famous Bega Cheese, and the riverside park is close by, with picnic pergolas, barbecues and playgrounds for the children.
The Bega Visitor Information Centre is now located at the Bega Cheese Heritage Centre.
Accommodation in and around Cooma and the Snowy Mountains
http://www.highcountrymoteltours.com.au/ will take you to the High Country Motel website. Here are 40 ground-floor units of which 19 are family rooms that can accommodate up to 9 guests. The spacious, open lounge overlooks the pool and the adjacent hillside, guests can enjoy, in comfort, the lovely log fire and the beautiful view or have a game of pool and a drink from the bar. The restaurant has magnificent views over Cooma and the surrounding countryside. Meal times are orchestrated by their enthusiastic professional team.
http://www.nebulacooma.com/ is the website for the Nebula Motel. It is a refurbished 24-room 3½ star AAA rated motel in the centre of Cooma, but in a quiet location. It is in walking distance to the shops, restaurants, pubs and club, the Cooma Visitors Centre and local attractions.
Accommodation rooms vary from doubles through to larger rooms with sofas and to family rooms accommodating up to six people. All rooms are at ground level and have ensuite bathrooms, air conditioning and heating, electric blankets, tea and coffee making facilities and cable TV. Parking is undercover at your front door. You can connect to the internet through the telephone line or they have wireless internet available for you free of charge.
For those who like B & B accommodation, the village of Bredbo (20 minutes north of Cooma) offers 'Feathers', which has been designed and furnished to provide guests with country charm blended with urban chic. Visit http://www.feathersbb.com/ or contact your hosts at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Different Look at the CMR
Maikha Ly is a member of the CMR, and a rail enthusiast of long standing. On his first visit to the railway recently he took numerous photos, many of which show an artists view of railway life. Maikha uses lighting to great effect, and highlights small details that enliven the experience. Four of his photos appear below, and you are likely to see more of his work in future updates. However, if you would like to see more of his CMR portfolio, they can be found on a page he maintains the RailPage Australia forum, which is viewed by many railway enthusiasts Australia wide. They can be found at: http://www.railpage.com.au/f-t11350061.htm.
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