What's New

Rail Heritage WA and its members and volunteers are always working to improve our knowledge, our collection, our museums, and our services. To keep up with all the latest news, see our Facebook pages:

For news, discussions and photos concerning our society, our projects and WA railway history: RailheritageWA

For events and news from the Railway Museum at Bassendean: RailmuseumWA

For events and news from the South West Rail and Heritage Centre at Boyanup: SouthWestRailandHeritageCentre/


Rail Heritage WA's online Photo Archive Gallery is growing.

With the most recent addition of scanned images the gallery currently contains more than 20,600 images. You can access the gallery here.

Rail Heritage WA and Lotterywest launch new online Photo Archive Gallery.

Rail Heritage WA in conjunction with Lotterywest following the provision of a grant in 2010 which has allowed us to be able to scan a large collection of both prints and transparencies from our extensive archive collection and go on to make these images available online to allow interested people and the public to search through the growing database of over 9500 images (currently).

The gallery was launched on 28 March at the Railway Museum by Ms Faye Baxter of Lotterywest.
The gallery can now be viewed by clicking here.


Rail Heritage WA launches Standard Gauge Appeal for loco GM 1.

Help RHWA bring GM1 to Western Australia, to build a fitting display, and ultimately to return GM1 to operation for special occasions.

  • All donations gratefully received
  • Deductable for income tax purposes
  • Opportunities for special donations to be recorded on the project

For more information, a donation, to read or print out a form about it click here.


Historic Locomotive R 174 arrives at the Museum

R 174 has been moved from Centrepoint Shopping Centre, Midland to the Bassendean Railway Museum on the 13th March 2011. See below for story and more photos.

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Rail Heritage WA awarded iconic locomotive

Rail Heritage WA (RHWA) have won the right to preserve, restore and own the former Commonwealth Railways' locomotive GM1. Read more about it and to make a donation, click here.


G 233 "Leschenault Lady"

Returns to Boyanup. Click here for page.

Sales Page

New books added, Railway Road Bus and Truck Services of Western Australia, Guide to the Collection and Trainee to Train-Controller.
Click here for page.

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Train Races to Miner's Rescue

The latest addition to The Railway Museum at Bassendean is locomotive R174.

In March 1907, this locomotive was involved in the WA's most epic mine rescue in which Italian miner Modesto Varischetti became trapped over 300m down in a flooded mine at Bonnie Vale, near Coolgardie. R174 pulled the special train, carrying two divers, their assistants and equipment plus 800ft of air piping, from Northam to Southern Cross.

The R class locomotives were the premier express passenger and mail locomotives in their day, and worked on the Eastern Goldfields and Northern Railways until the 1920s. Then they mainly worked on freight trains. The 4ft 9in (145cm) driving wheels were the largest ever used on the Western Australian Government Railways (WAGR).

R174 was restored for display outside the Railway Institute building at Midland. R174 was there from March 1956 until October 1972 when it was moved to the Centrepoint shopping mall. With imminent redevelopment of the shopping centre, proprietors the Stefanelli family offered R174 to our museum for preservation. Family representative Mr Joe Stefanelli explained that they understood the significance of R174 and wanted to ensure it's preservation. The proprietors generously offered to assist this move by donating transport costs.

The move was carried out on 13 March 2011. Although the R class needs some TLC, it will be available to see on guided tours during Enthusiasts Day on 15 May 2011 and in due course will take pride of place at the head of a train.

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