A Short History
A little about the founder
The founder of the museum, John Cooper, has had a long involvement in the railways. John was the founding Chairman of the Zig Zag railway, holding that position for more than 10 years. John started saving memorabilia to put together a museum at Zig Zag, so the public had something to keep them there whilst waiting for the train. It was the boards of the day belief, that it was a tourist railway and not a museum.
Over the years, John was responsible for many fund raising activities, including the chartering of Qantas Jumbo jets for tours of Australia, New Zealand and Antarctica. There were no such things as grants in those days.
In 1986 John was approached by a workmate, who wanted to salute the railway pioneers in the Bicentennial celebrations.
John devised a plan that would incorporate the hand operation of a Sheffield push or pumper Quadricycle, from Perth to Sydney. A committee was formed and John was appointed Executive Officer. The project was to be called "The Sheffield Conquest", and in 1988 after a lot of negotiating with railways over running rites and businesses for donations, and a lot of hard work, the trip was a great success.
A similar event for the Centenary of Federation was planned for 2001, it was to be known as Uniting Australia by Rails. This trip was to become a non starter as there was a lot of squabbling between some committee members.
The Transport Signal & Communications Museum Inc. was created out of the need and desire to show the public, the behind the scenes items used by the railways.
Items such as signalling, safe working, ticketing, clocks, telephones, badges and catering to name a few, all played an intricate part of any railway system.
The charter of the TSCM has been to collect, restore and exhibit as many of these items as possible.
Founded by a small group of collectors, the TSCM has grown in size and variety. From small beginnings in a leased former railway electrical sub station at Cabramatta, to were the museum is now, currently situated in Kurrajong at the base of the Blue Mountains.
Many small changes have occurred over the ensuing years, as it has moved away from earlier plans to create a bed a breakfast venue within the museum, to concentrate more on the museum its self. There has also been an effort to establish more complex and complete exhibits of particular applications, such as our safe working display on the Richmond Line and the miniature lever frame.
The Museum still maintains its association with other kindred groups, such as Tourist Railway Association Kurrajong, this group hopes to have a tourist railway running on the old Kurrajong line formation. Other groups such as the Australasian Telephone Collectors Society, displays at our Open Weekends and also trades. The Australian Transport Ticket Collectors Association collects tickets and associated items and it meets regularly. Also included is the Kurrajong-Comleroy Historical Society, who is putting together a photographic history as well as collecting and recording the historical events and happenings on the area.
The TSCM is a full member of Rail Heritage Australia, and through it the Association of Tourist and Heritage Rail Australia.
Our Open weekends, usually include a Swap Meet, so please check our events page to see just what is happening.
Page last uploaded on Fri, 7 Aug 2015 05:59 Australia/Tasmania sec