The region's diverse railway history has always served as a key aspect of Bathurst's rich story and over the weekend, members of the community congregated to celebrate the first birthday of the facility housing the local rail story.
Bathurst Rail Museum celebrated its first birthday with a celebratory event on Saturday, including a Thomas the Tank Engine-themed jumping castle and performances from Local Emerging Artist Program [LEAP] musicians.
The museum also waived 10 per cent of the admission fee and all gift shop purchases.
Bathurst mayor Bobby Bourke said the museum has grown into one of the region's iconic cultural assets.
"This facility tells the multi-layered, 150-year story of rail in Bathurst, and it has been met with overwhelmingly positive feedback from locals and visitors alike," Cr Bourke said.
"So many Bathurst families have relatives who made a living working on the railways, and this museum preserves their stories and experiences for future generations."
Across its first year, the Rail Museum recorded 31,000 visitors, meeting the facility's original estimate.
This was achieved despite the facility needing to close for two months last year in response to COVID-19.
"These figures only prove the value of the museum as a prime tourist destination," Cr Bourke said.
"Considering the National Motor Racing Museum averages 30,000 visitors a year, this attendance result warrants council's efforts and investment into making the Rail Museum a reality."
Of the Rail Museum's total attendance figure in its inaugural year, 25 per cent were under five years old.