Allison: Sydney’s transport history came to life this weekend at the Transport Heritage Expo at Central Station. The event is organised by Transport Heritage NSW and Transport NSW and showcases Sydney’s vibrant transport history.
Andrew Moritz: Transport is so much a part of our everyday lives. It’s about how cities developed, how countries developed. And looking at the history of NSW, the history of other parts of Australia, it is about the story of railways coming to a town, bringing prosperity, and bringing the opportunity for travel.
Allison: Enthusiasts aren’t the only people the event is aimed towards.
Andrew: Days like today are a fantastic opportunity to share that story with the public. The many smiling faces we see at events like this make all of the preservation movement worthwhile. And it’s about introducing a new generation to our transport heritage story.
Allison: The event is held annually, with attendance growing each year. This year, for the first time, organisers have partnered with a railway preservation group from the Lachlan Valley to give visitors a rare view of Sydney.
Andrew Moritz: We’ve got the railmotors behind us here which are making a special journey on some freight lines this weekend. The freight lines are not normally open to passengers, but this weekend the railmotors are doing that special trip so it’s a great opportunity to see a part of Sydney that you might not usually see.
Allison: Another place not usually open to the public that can be visited for the expo is Mortuary Station. This is new this year to coincide with the 150th anniversary of Sydney’s oldest cemetery. The historic station once served as the beginning of the journey for Sydney’s deceased to their final resting place.
Mathew Johnson: I work at Rookwood cemetery, we do conservation of historic gravestones. Mortuary station was originally one of the receiving houses, the other was at Rookwood, so there’s been a long connection here between this station and the cemetery.
I think it’s really good for the public to engage with heritage, I think there’s kind of a detachment between them now. But they’re usable spaces, not old spaces, and we should use them.
Allison: Those working in preservation hope that sharing the stories with the public will help keep the stories alive.