Valley Heights Locomotive Depot Heritage Museum

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News: Museum reopens after major works

The Museum reopened on Sunday 25th March 2018 after a four week closure and the successful completion of major works.

The major works were necessary for the safety of our workers, visitors and the general public. 

The project has delivered three key long-term benefits.

  • Reduce the risk of injuries as a result of trip and falls. 
  • Improve and increase accessibility for those who have mobility constrains and people confined to wheel chairs and those pushing prams.
  • Increased undercover storage for historic rail exhibits by re-instating rail access from the turntable where the rails are currently missing. 

The works saw the Roundhouse Forecourt restored involving:

  • The removal of the existing asphalt surface, which had failed after 40 years of service life.
  • The lifting of the rails and sleepers that extend from the turntable into the Roundhouse. 
  • New sleepers were laid to replace the existing sleepers that had deteriorated to the point where the rail lines were sinking beneath the surface of the asphalt resulting in a serious trip hazard for our workers and visitors. 
  • Once the new sleepers were in place the rail access from the turntable will be restored back to the Roundhouse and a new concrete surface will be laid. The concrete is coloured and textured to match the existing asphalt surface. 

See the transformation that has come over the forecourt between the century old roundhouse and the turntable, with a successful project skilfully carried out by contractors Rhomberg Rail. This major upgrade is a welcome improvement to the safety level of visitors and volunteers alike and adds to the overall Museum experience.

Ancient and well-worn rails, bitumen and soil were removed from this much used area and replaced with a slip resistant surface around the new tracks. New plumbing was laid to ensure more efficient flow of rainwater before levels were adjusted to bring the surrounds up to rail height, making transition a much smoother experience, especially for children and older visitors.

Photo essay of project. Photos: Keith Ward and Andrew Tester