Valley Heights Locomotive Depot Heritage Museum

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Valley Heights Loco Depot Heritage Museum logoValley Heights Steam Tramway logo

About the depot

Infrastructure

Site view 2011

Aerial view of site 2011

Site view 1943

Aerial view of site 1943
Air photo Images © Department Finance, Services & Innovation 2018.
CC BY 3.0 logo Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Licence 3.0

Locomotive Depot Buildings

Roundhouse

10 roads (built 1913, extended 1973). This included:

  • Machine Workshop 
  • Members Room / Meal Room  (renovated 2017)
  • Members Locker Room / Toilet (converted to other use)
  • Passage Way 
  • Forecourt (renovated 2018)
  • Now in the roundhouse:
    • Large exhibits: Locomotives and carriages
    • Small exhibit displays

Former Chargeman’s office / District Locomotive Engineer’s (DLE) Office

Built 1913, restored 2000s

  • Now in the DLE Office
    • Small exhibit displays
    • Historical rail paintings

Former Amenities Building

Built 1930, extended 1960

  • Now in the Amenities Building
    • Museum entry and shop
    • Museum cafe
    • Library (access by appointment)
    • International Model railway
    • Valley Heights in the 1950s model railway
    • Diorama of The Valley model railway

Toilet Block

Built 1965, extended 2006

Air Compressor Shed 

Built  at the top of the bank adjacent to the Main Western Line and overlooking the Roundhouse. The building features concrete block flooring, steel structural framing and galvanised iron wall and roof cladding. The original shed was replaced due to termite damage late 1990s.

Fuel Store (flammable liquid store)

Built from red brick in 1970. Located near entrance gate,

Signal box

The signal box was originally built in 1910, constructed to the height of a three storey biulding, the lower section in brick with the upper level constructed in timber cladding. The building was accessed via an external timber stair, on the western side of the building. It was severely damaged by fire in 1951 and the top floor collapsed. A roof was placed on top of the remaining brickwork and a new frame was placed into service on the ground floor. In the top level, windows on three sides gave visibility for the signalman to Blaxland in the east and west to the depot.

The first floor level of brickwork was removed in 1987 and steel / urethane sandwich addition was added at the same time for staff amenities. Use of the signal box was discontinued on 15 December 1995 and given to the museum. Corrugated metal roofing fabric is relatively new. The signal equipment including CTC panel and 37 lever interlocking frame inside are extant. 

The building currently presents a single-storey box with shallow hipped roof. The face brickwork with engaged piers has been painted over in places and the three arched windows along the railway side are intact.

Locomotive Depot Structures

Turntable

18.3 m (60ft) diameter, steel. Officially opened in 1914.

The 60 foot turntable enables the locating of locomotives onto the respective roads in the roundhouse or for the turning of the locomotives. The turntable is constructed in steel and features timber sleepers at the perimeter of the turning circle. The element is manually operated and is still in use. It is the third such turntable to be used at the site, having been relocated from Katoomba in 1967.

Ash Disposal Tunnel and Pits

The ash disposal tunnel is a below ground level structure about 50 m east of the former amenities building (now the cafe and shop).

The tunnel was constructed at right angles under the arrival and departure roads with ash pits between the rails. The tunnel was constructed in 1913 to facilitate the removal of ash from the smoke boxes and ash pans of steam locomotives. This required the ash to be raked and shovelled out by hand. The ash would then drop into the tunnel and a narrow gauge line with hand operated trolleys was provided in the tunnel for removing the ash as it dropped from the pits. The pits were in use until 1957 when steam operations ceased in the Mountains. The pits are still in use at the end of steam open days.

The tram shed is built over part of the ash disposal area.

Locomotive Watering Facilities

Officially opened in 1914. The watering facilities still await re-instatement. 

Trackwork

Trackwork on the site dates from 1914. The current track diagram is a remnant of the former depot layout from the steam era. They are proposed to be restored by reconnecting the arrival and departure roads to more closely resemble the trackwork of the steam era. 

Coal stage foundations

These are remnant foundations of the former coal stage and demonstrate the scale and design of the facility which dates from c1913.

Civil depot

Formerly used by Sydney Trains and added to the museum in April 2018 at an official handing over ceremony.

Heritage listing

The Valley Heights Railway Station facilities and Locomotive Depot were listed on the State Heritage Register by the State of NSW, the then State Rail Authority and the Blue Mountains City Council

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