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South West Rail and Heritage Centre

Home > Bunbury > Vintage and Retro | Trains | Museums | Escape the City | Day Trips
Published August 22nd 2017
A snapshot of the past and present
A selection of the historical items on view at the South West Rail and Heritage Centre.
A selection of the historical items on view at the South West Rail and Heritage Centre.

The South West Rail and Heritage Centre, located at 33 Turner Street, Boyanup, offers a nostalgic snapshot of life in an earlier era, coupled with some more recent lifestyle activities.

The Centre, administered by the Boyanup Foundation Inc, is home to an eclectic collection of community groups, all of which contribute to the experience that visitors enjoy on the Open Days that operate on the fourth Sunday of each month.

Just a glimpse

The site is approximately two hectares in area, with open spaces, several rail tracks throughout the site which hold various railway rolling stock items, and a number of buildings dotted throughout. These buildings include the entry building which houses the model railway, the blacksmith forge, an old machinery shed, a converted railway roundhouse transported from Bunbury, a workshop, and Simmons Barn relocated from the Simmons farm (the Simmons family were pioneers of Boyanup in the 1860s). 

Simmons Barn, see life as it was for our pioneers at South West Rail and Heritage Centre
Simmons Barn, see life as it was for our pioneers.

Museum on Rails

Step into the Museum on Rails, and step back in time.
Step into the Museum on Rails, and step back in time.

Two repurposed guard's vans await you, one now the 'Picnic Van' and the other, the 'Museum on Rails', a snapshot of the history of rail in Western Australia.

Philippa ready to show you around this unique museum at the South West Rail and Heritage Centre
Philippa ready to show you around this unique museum.

Boyanup Blacksmiths

One of the Boyanup Foundation Blacksmiths practising this ancient trade at the South West Rail and Heritage Centre
One of the Boyanup Foundation Blacksmiths practising this ancient trade.

The Boyanup Foundation Blacksmiths have a dedicated forge and the reassuring sound of hammers bashing out a wide variety of iron-based items can be heard throughout the site.

South West Model Railway Group

South West Model Railway's Garry watching one of the model trains in action at the South West Rail and Heritage Centre
South West Model Railway's Garry watching one of the model trains in action.

The South West Model Railway Group has developed an ever-growing model railway layout that runs every open day and provides a great deal of interest and excitement.

Railway member, Harry, proudly displaying the helix that enables the model trains to access different levels of the layout at the South West Rail and Heritage Centre
Railway member, Harry, proudly displaying the helix that enables the model trains to access different levels of the layout.

Large collection of agricultural machinery

Visitors to South West Rail and Heritage Centre, admiring the Victoria Stationery Engine, an item in the South West Rail and Heritage Centre's collection of vintage machinery.
Visitors to South West Rail and Heritage Centre, admiring the Victoria Stationery Engine, an item in the South West Rail and Heritage Centre's collection of vintage machinery.

Leschenault Lady

The iconic steam locomotive 'Leschenault Lady', housed at the South West Rail and Heritage Centre, powered many a tourist train in the South West, during the 1970s, 80s and 90s.
The iconic steam locomotive 'Leschenault Lady', housed at the South West Rail and Heritage Centre, powered many a tourist train in the South West, during the 1970s, 80s and 90s.

The site is also home to railway rolling stock, owned, maintained and restored by the dedicated Rail Heritage WA volunteers. Pride of place in this collection is the 1898 steam locomotive, 'Leschenault Lady' (being restored), a train that is much loved in the South West, as she provided the power for many tourist train trips. The Centre usually celebrates the birthday of this iconic locomotive in December of each year, as it first entered service with the then WA Railways on December 15, 1898.

Capel Men's Shed

Founding member of the Capel Men's Shed, Gordon Knight demonstrating his woodworking skills at the South West Rail and Heritage Centre
Founding member of the Capel Men's Shed, Gordon Knight demonstrating his woodworking skills.

The Capel Men's Shed is also resident on the site, and here we see an energetic group of fellows engaged in any number of projects working with wood and metal, as well as assisting with maintenance of the site.

The Picnic Van and merry-go-round

Visitors enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and light refreshments served in the 'Picnic Van', a converted guard's van at the South West Rail and Heritage Centre
Visitors enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and light refreshments served in the 'Picnic Van', a converted guard's van.

To complete the experience visitors are able to enjoy light refreshments served in the 'Picnic Van', a converted guard's van and children love the opportunity to have a ride on the 'parent powered' merry-go-round made from recycled materials.

The popular children's merry-go-round, made of repurposed items and powered by 'parent power' at the South West Rail and Heritage Centre
The popular children's merry-go-round, made of repurposed items and powered by 'parent power'.

Boyanup Farmers Market

As an extra bonus, the Boyanup Farmers Market is held on the same day as the South West Rail and Heritage Centre's Open Days, this very successful market with over 30 stalls selling mostly local produce fresh from the farm, completes a fun day.

Check the time table

The South West Rail and Heritage Centre, located at 33 Turner Street, Boyanup, an accessible day trip from Perth, and well worth the experience, is open from 10:00am to 2:00pm on the fourth Sunday of the month. For more information (or to enquire about group visits at other times), please contact Norm Chapple on swrhc@railheritagewa.org.au or call 0459 712 552. Check out upcoming open days and event themes on their Facebook page.

You may also find this website helpful.

Toilet facilities, including a toilet suitable for people with a disability, and a parking area signposted on Open Days, ensures a great day out for the whole family, children especially welcome.

Photos are from the SWRHC collection. Artwork by John F.\
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Why? Experience the past, embrace the present, at the perfect location
When: Open Days on the fourth Sunday of the month from 10:00am to 2:00pm
Phone: Contact Norm Chapple on swrhc@railheritagewa.org.au or call 0459 712 552
Where: Rail Centre, 33 Turner St, Boyanup WA 6237
Cost: Entry by donation
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