PLANS for the Bathurst Rail Museum have rolled down the tracks a little further with council calling on designers for the new tourist site.
The museum will be housed in the former Railway Institute Building where former Prime Minister Ben Chifley once worked as a first-class locomotive engine driver.
The $2.5 million site will house a mix of permanent and temporary exhibitions that tell the story of the development of rail in the city.
The museum will also feature a large-scale model of the Bathurst to Tarana rail line and a CBA 547 carriage dating back to 1905 which council purchased for $85,000 last last year. The carriage currently sits outside the visitor centre.
Bathurst Regional Council mayor Graeme Hanger said they would like to create a modern and innovative museum that “inspires, engages and challenges visitors”.
He said council’s call for expressions of interest was for applications from interested and experienced heritage architects to provide initial concept suggestions and outline their experience in designing and delivering creative functional spaces.
“The successful consultant will be tasked with taking the existing concept proposals and developing detailed architects plans to achieve State Heritage approval and construction certification,” Cr Hanger said.
Work is also being undertaken at the Railway Institute to halt the deterioration of the building with the removal of damaging vegetation.
“In addition, we are gathering local content with the aim of telling the largely untold stories of the social and industrial development and highlighting importance of rail to Bathurst.” Cr Hanger said.
Funding for the project has been sourced through the federal and state governments including $965,250 from the Federal Government's Stronger Regions Funds and $200,000 through the State Government's ClubGrants category 3 scheme for Art and Culture infrastructure.
Council has also allocated $1 million to the museum.