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Bathurst Rail Museum

27 April 2021

There’s a new tourism drawcard in the NSW regional centre of Bathurst. The recently renovated and redeveloped Bathurst Rail Museum.

The famous Mount Panorama Race track has attracted visitors to the town for over 80 years. Now the Rail Museum is receiving its fair share of attention, not just for the rail artefacts and large working scale model railway on display but for its multi-award-winning structure.

A raft of design and architecture awards and nominations last year from associations like the National Trust, NSW Architecture, Urban Development Institute and Australian Museums and Galleries are acknowledgement of the centre’s unique, unconventional and exciting design.

The museum also won the Australian Steel Institute’s (ASI) Steel Excellence Award for NSW in the Buildings Small Structures category and was shortlisted for the ASI’s National Award in the same category last year.

The $4.8 million project saw the rejuvenation of the town’s neglected and derelict Railway Institute Community hall. The newly revitalised space was extended to incorporate two buildings, an exhibition centre and children’s learning space, which were linked through the existing heritage Railway Institute building.

InfraBuild Steel Centre Dubbo was the primary steel distributor and supplier on the project, working through Account Representative Peter ten Cate. InfraBuild Steel Centre and Peter then worked closely with fabricator on the project, ICR Engineering, a family run engineering business, located in Blayney in the central west. In total, InfraBuild Steel Centre supplied approx. 30-40 tonne of hot rolled sections and merchant bar into the project.

A major benefit, Peter explained, was the location of both the supplier and fabricating businesses involved in the project in the Central West. It made supply more reliable and timelier into the construction site at Bathurst.

The InfraBuild Steel Centre relationship with ICR Engineering, Peter said, goes back around 30 years. It’s a long-standing relationship built on trust and confidence in both the product sourced from InfraBuild and the fact most of it is Australian made.

It’s an important factor for ICR Engineering, Peter explained, who have a reputation for preferring, promoting and using Australian made product. “It’s something ICR Engineering see as important,” Peter said.

Bathurst Railway Museum

ICR Engineering, alongside InfraBuild has a commitment to sustainability, making the relationship a good fit. ICR are committed to the re-use of off-cuts where possible, or in the event an offcut can’t be reused all scrap is sent for recycling.

A feature of product supplied by InfraBuild and used on the pavilion structure, were 125 x 125 equal angles that were curved to frame the cantilevered awning, a specialised task performed by Rollco a Sydney based speciality fabricating business.

In their ASI Awards submission, Calare Civil, structural engineers on the project, stated that “by using InfraBuild as a supplier we know the steel has been sourced and manufactured in an environmentally sustainable manner and to the high environmental standards set out in Australia.”

In their Awards submission summary, Calare Civil said the Bathurst Rail Museum project was a testament “to the versatility, durability, sustainability and efficiency that can be achieved with the use of steel”.

So as we holiday closer to home and take tourism to regional NSW,  why not make a trip to Bathurst and visit the Railway Museum. It’s a chance to get up close and personal with award-winning design at its finest.