Archer Park Rail Museum re-opens after major restoration

Published on 24 November 2017


One of the city’s renowned heritage attractions, Archer Park Rail Museum, has re-opened to the public following major restoration works to preserve the museum.

The station, which is home to the one-of-a-kind Purrey Steam Tram, received a new roof, paint and replacement of rotted timber.

Acting Mayor Councillor Tony Williams said the restoration means the railway station, constructed in 1899, will continue to tell the stories of its past for generations to come.

“Unfortunately over time the museum began to deteriorate with the roof and timber in urgent need of repair. The end result is now a beautifully restored museum for tourists to learn about our tram history and a great venue for our community to use for events,” Mr Williams said.

“The Archer Park Rail Museum tells an incredible story about the history of our rail-based transportation in the early 1900’s so we are pleased this is a project that has been completed earlier than anticipated through the Works for Queensland funding.”

Darrin Swadling, sole director of Rockhampton business Swadling Painting Contractors, and his 20-strong staff worked on the restoration and said he was proud his business had a role in restoring the iconic facility.  

“We feel very honoured to work on the refurbishment of the Rail Museum, it’s a piece of history that we are really proud to have helped to restore for the community to share in and admire,” Mr Swadling said.

“We tendered this project in full knowledge that it would take almost 1500hours and around 500 litres – or half a tonne - of paint. The building deterioration meant an enormous amount of time was spent preparing the substrate and much of that work included hazardous materials abatement and extensive environmental controls to eliminate lead contamination.

“I’m very proud of all of my staff for the result they’ve achieved on this project.

“We live in hope that other business leaders in the community will try harder to take the lead and contribute something back to Rockhampton however small it might be, or however small they might be. If we pull together as businesses, Rockhampton can remain strong.”

The Archer Park Rail Museum upgrade was funded through the Queensland Government’s $200 million Works for Queensland program.

The Museum is open Sundays to Thursdays and has state-of-the-art soundscape and life-like mannequins transporting visitors to the World War II times.