Bathurst Rail Museum's plans are approved | Video, photos, pictures

PLANS to transform the former Railway Institute building on Havannah Street into the $2.5 million Bathurst Rail Museum have now been approved.

The museum has long been planned by council and it will include a mix of permanent and temporary exhibitions that tell the story of the development of rail in the city.

It will also feature some of the history of former Australian Prime Minister and Bathurst man Ben Chifley who was once an engine driver.

Information in the development application (DA) shows the museum project will contribute $6.9 million in benefits to the economy in the next 20 years, while its cost will be $3.87m during the same time period.

“The museum will generate revenue through ticketed entry, hire of event space, workshops and classes,” it states.

The DA said a scale model railway of the main NSW western line from Lithgow to Bathurst, which was donated to council in 2015, was at “the heart” of the museum.

“Running a total length of 70 metres, the layout is nine metres wide and 20 metres long,” the DA states.

A restored and renovated CBA 547 carriage, which currently sits outside Bathurst Visitor Information Centre, will be relocated and feature in the museum’s courtyard.

Council purchased the carriage for $85,000 in 2016.

A restored and renovated CBA 547 carriage, which currently sits outside Bathurst Visitor Information Centre, will be relocated and feature in the museum’s courtyard.

The building’s original ticket window will be reinstated, while a gallery, cafe nook, shop and offices will feature inside.

Outside, new pathways will be created while 14 car parks will be constructed within the council road reserve along Havannah Street.

The DA said the project will contribute to the region’s economic growth through the direct employment of 18 people during the construction phase, with a further six regional jobs through operations and flow-on activities.

As owner of the former Railway Institute building, Transport for NSW has partnered with Bathurst Regional Council to upgrade the building and repurpose it for use as a rail museum.