The South West Rail & Heritage Centre has regular open days, normally on the 4th Sunday of each month, with a special theme each time. Check out upcoming open days and event themes on the Centre's Facebook page.
1898 - Australian built Leschenault Lady is once again operating - from August 2021
On an Open Day there is more than just railway vehicles on display. Also see the South-West Blacksmiths in action, agricultural machinery - operational and static - and the special features showcased that day.
The Centre is in Turner Street Boyanup. Entry is free for under 18s. 19 years and over pay just $5. Delicious refreshments available in the Picnic Van.
The railway collection (locomotives, carriages and wagons) is owned by Rail Heritage WA. It includes Leschenault Lady, steam locomotive H 18, bought in 1887 for the Bunbury-Boyanup railway, mobile museum van, carriages dating back to the 1890s, former Australind carriages, as well as diesel locomotives from Jardee Mill and Bunbury Power Station.
The 'dog-box' carriages have been used for tourist purposes in the region since the early 1960s are owned by Rail Heritage WA.
Former Australind carriages.
Behind the scenes at the South-West Rail & Heritage Centre
In March 2005 the Boyanup Museum was closed to the public due to safety concerns. The Boyanup Foundation Inc could not afford public liability insurance to allow its members access to the site, so the place was left vacant. To assist in the preservation of its rollingstock, Rail Heritage WA (RHWA) offered to take on the lease of the museum site for a period of 12 months from January 2006 with the intent to give time to plan a future for the Museum.
After much work the first regular Open Day was held on the site in November 2012.
From then on, the South-West Blacksmiths, Preston Machinery Preservation Group, South-West Model Railway Club and Capel Men's Shed Inc, found homes on site. The Boyanup Foundation Inc was re-ignited and in partnership with Rail Heritage WA (who hold and pays for the lease, own the buildings and pays insurance) are rejuvenating the Centre.
Many improvements have been made over the subsequent years and it is now time to tackle the biggest job - the replacement of the former Bunbury Goods Shed. An engineering report, after the Shire closed it to the public, confirmed that it is unsafe.
The new Interpretive Centre will provide a significant tourist asset preserving the rail, agricultural and social history of the area. It is vital to ensure the future of the SWRHC and its collection.
Volunteers, particularly those from the local region, are welcomed and there is a suitable task for everyone to do!
Railway to Boyanup
A full history of the railway can be found in the 'Westland' periodical Issue 266
The Bunbury to Boyanup railway was opened in 1887, built and operated by a private contractor as a horse drawn railway. However in response to complaints the Government took over the railway and rebuilt it. It was reopened in 1891 to massive celebrations and the two H-class locomotives imported in December 1887 were finally to be used on the Boyanup railway.
The Bunbury - Boyanup railway was the first railway in WA specifically built to serve an agricultural district. It was only the third section of government railway in the state. Due to its early railway development Boyanup was to become a very important railway junction with one line going through Busselton to Flinders Bay (with a branch to Nannup) and the other through Donnybrook to Northcliffe (with a branch through Boyup Brook to Katanning).^Back to Top