Trainspotter delights at Museum

Griffith Pioneer Park Museum was recently visited by a Railway Heritage Adviser who almost could not believe what he saw.

"I found the Goolgowi Railway Station and related documents absolutely fascinating," said Phil Buckley. "I have never seen such a complete set of rail paperwork from any one location like that before. I had seen some at other museums I work at in rail heritage but not of such detail."

Goolgowi Railway Station is a popular destination on 'Action Day' each Good Friday at Pioneer Park Museum, where a train collects visitors for a tour of the grounds.

The Station was constructed from cinder-concrete slabs in 1923, as part of the extension of the Griffith-Hillston line. At the time it was anticipated the site would become a major station, as agricultural experts envisaged the area would be one of the biggest producers of wheat.

106,569 bags of wheat would be shipped from the Station during 1935 alone.

As road transport overtook rail for moving people and goods, Goolgowi Railway Station was closed in 1979. In 1983 Museum volunteer Mick Coombe, a retired ex-railway employee, noticed the abandoned building was being considered for demolition.

The Museum wrote to State Rail in June that year and formally tendered the sum of $10 for the building, learning in November of their success. Volunteers and a group undertaking community service orders relocated it to Pioneer Park Museum, where it was opened to the public in 1984.

The Goolgowi Railway Station is one of 42 historic and recreated buildings at Griffith Pioneer Park Museum. These provide detailed snapshots of the lives of early residents of Griffith and the surrounding region.

It's a view that was appreciated by Mr Buckley. "I immensely enjoyed my few hours at the Museum," he said. "There is superb preservation of rare and fascinating buildings. It really showcases to me how amazing our pioneer heritage is and how diverse too."

Like many visitors, Phil Buckley enjoyed reconnecting with his own history during the visit. "My mum lived in Hillston in 1940-60s, so she would of passed Goolgowi station many times on her long trips to Sydney."

As befitting a railway enthusiast, Mr Buckley traveled to Griffith from Sydney by train on the Sunday service.

Photographs shown here by Phil Buckley. This was published here.