Six Of The Best Train Themed Experiences In Sydney And Nearby
Mums & Bubs
If you have a train fanatic whose obsession extends far beyond Thomas the Tank engine, they will love these exciting train-themed experiences! We’ve rail-tested just about all that Sydney and its surrounds have to offer and here are six of the best.
NSW Rail Museum, Thirlmere
The NSW Rail Museum is indisputably Sydney’s premier destination for train lovers. It is the sort of place where an entire day can easily be spent. The site itself is enormous and children and adults alike love simply wandering up and down the many rows of historic engines and carriages. There is a lovely playground and picnic area, but if you forget to bring food with you or the weather isn’t great, there is also a little cafe within the museum. Trainworks is a terrific place to visit no matter what the weather is doing as the bulk of it is undercover.
There are different theatre productions on at various times throughout the year and the museum also runs terrific craft activities. However, one of the absolute highlights of the Trainworks calendar is the Day Out With Thomas, where kids have a ball riding the mini trains, taking a steam train ride, having photos taken with a life-sized Thomas the Tank Engine and jumping on the bouncing castle.
Sydney Live Steam Locomotive Society Train Rides, West Ryde
The Sydney Live Steam Locomotive Society was founded in 1948 in West Ryde and has been in the same spot ever since on the corner of Anthony Road and Betts Street. On the third Saturday of each month from 1:30 to 4:30pm, the Society offers miniature railway rides which are a huge hit with children. The park setting is fantastic for picnics and its not unusual to find a birthday party taking place. Your little engineer will have a wonderful time and with rides only $2 each, you can let them go crazy!
Powerhouse Museum, Pyrmont
We love the Powerhouse Museum for a number of reasons (the Wiggles exhibition is always a favourite) but it has a fantastic range of train-related exhibits including the impressive Locomotive Number 1. As the first train to have operated in NSW it has quite a history and kids love walking alongside the train and its carriages and peeking into the windows.
It is hard to leave the extraordinary Leuralla Toy & Railway Museum! The grounds of this beautiful historic home are sublime and even if you’re not especially interested in trains or toys, you will enjoy the wonderful house and gardens which were the former home of notable Australian Dr HV Evatt. For train lovers though, this museum is a paradise. There is an enormous collection of model trains, a huge range of vintage rail signage and other memorabilia scattered throughout the gardens and the Matterhorn Mountain Railway which takes for its inspiration a number of the European railways and runs through a landscaped tunnel system. Make sure you bring some gold coins with you, or your little one will be extremely disappointed since the Railway is coin-operated. If you are in the Blue Mountains, this is not to be missed.
Heritage Railway Discovery Tour, Newington Armory
Every Sunday, the Heritage Railway, formerly used in the transport of WW2 munitions, takes visitors to Sydney Olympic Park on a short trip around the historic Newington Armory. Riding The Rails is a short 30-minute ride and tickets are $5 each with children under three free. Tickets can be purchased from the Armory Visitor Centre. This makes it an extremely affordable and fun activity. Adults will appreciate the scenery and commentary on the historical value of the site while the little ones will just enjoy the ride. There are so many other wonderful things to do at the Armory and there is a terrific cafe and playground so make a day of it! Make sure you get there early though (first ride is at 11am) because tickets sell out quickly and parking at the Armory is at a premium.
The Picnic Train Tours
Sydney Rail Services run The Picnic Train tours to some of the most beautiful destinations within a few hours of Sydney. Get on board for a unique steam train experience with the family in traditional open-windowed period carriages - hauled by steam power only. On limited dates throughout the year, you can join one of the classic rail tours from Sydney’s magnificent Central Station along the picturesque South Coast Line to Kiama, or catch the Steam Locomotive 5917 to The Hunter Valley region.
The Picnic Train makes a fun day trip on a real vintage steam train where you can relive an authentic rail ride from the past. All fares are for same-day return travel.
Once you’ve exhausted all of these fabulous activities, why not grab a rail map from Sydney Trains, let your child choose a destination and ‘ride the rails’? Do it on a Sunday and each member of your family will pay only $2.80.
Even More Train Fun Here
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