We Collie Rail Heritage – a group of rail enthusiasts dedicated to the preservation of Collie’s rail history through the collection, preservation and maintenance of rail buildings, rolling stock, historic records and artefacts.
Our mission – is to promote Collie’s unique rail history for the enjoyment and appreciation of anyone who wishes to visit, or to be involved in rail heritage.
Beginning – in 1997, originally as the Collie Heritage Group, the group formed out of concern that the Collie Goods Shed, Collie’s oldest surviving building, was at risk of being demolished. We set about fundraising, gathering support, materials, and followed a conservation and restoration plan that, in a little under two years, eventuated in what is now a state registered asset.
To complement the Goods Shed a number of rail carriages and wagons were either purchased or loaned to us that enhanced the Collie Rail Heritage Precinct. As the rolling stock collection grew, it became necessary to have another storage building to protect these unique items of rail history.
The group had designed a replica 1919 rolling stock shed, and obtained funds and materials completing the shed in 2005 and named the Bill Weir Rolling Stock Shed in honour of Bill Weir who was one of the main driving forces for the rail precinct.
The group continues the task of conserving these buildings, refurbishing vintage locomotives, passenger and goods wagons to make a display of WA’s rare and unique rail heritage within the Collie Rail Precinct. A place where people can come and marvel at the ingenuity, engineering and art of our rail history.
Goods Shed – erected in 1898 as a First Class Goods Shed this is a ‘twin peak’ roofed building designed by Charles Yelverton O’Connor and is illustrative of his engineering talent and attention to detail.
It was the first of a series of Goods Sheds built by the WAGR during the 1890’s and early 1900’s. It measures 31.5 metres by 13 metres, and is timber-framed with a weatherboard clad office and storeroom. The Goods Shed lost its connection to the rail in 1982 when road transport became prevalent.
In May 1996 a conservation plan was undertaken and shortly thereafter our then Collie Heritage Group carried out the recommended maintenance and restoration. Having become a social centerpiece, its current use is as a museum, archive for rail artifacts, cover for restored vintage rail carriages, and is open for guided tours and a regular markets day for our local producers and artisans. Carriage VW5416 was a mobile kitchen, which is now the Goods Shed Cafe, and carriage VW3280, a goods van houses an interpretive display and video equipment of Collie’s railway history.
Bill Weir Rolling Stock Shed – was constructed in two phases as an addition to the Goods Shed. Phase one commenced in 2002, and officially opened in May 2003.
This was followed by phase two, and completed in June 2004. This shed is now where the restoration of rolling stock takes place.
Items on display ranges from one of only two remaining diesel locomotives of its type; the ‘the ganger’s favourite’ the Kalamazoo; a First Class Sleeping Coach AZQ415 and all types of wagons and coal trucks in between.
We received the Association of Tourist and Heritage Rail Australia – Freight Vehicle Restoration Award in 2011
Railway Footbridge – built in 1912, it spans 120 metres over the railway line. Restored in 2004 it links the historical rail precinct to the replica Collie Railway Station. The original station was demolished in the 1970s. It was rebuilt, opening in 2004 and now houses a cafe, museum and model railway.
Opening hours and tours – both sheds are open to the public on Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 9AM and 1PM most weeks of the year and also by request on other days by contacting the Collie Visitors Centre on (08) 9734 2051 or Rail Heritage Historian, Keith on (08) 97342410
Membership – online application or forms can be found at our website, and entitles you to regular newsletters, priority bookings for Goods Shed private functions, group meetings, volunteer activities, group events and more.