Being on holidays with the family presents opportunities for railway exploring.
Early in September, we had a short 5 day family holiday in Bathurst, NSW, west of the Blue Mountains. This presented an opportunity to explore the railway features of that region, both there and between there and our home.
On the first day, on our journey to Bathurst, we stopped at Cowra. I was able to explore the station precinct, and we also visited the Lachlan Valley Railway Heritage Centre roundhouse and museum.
At Bathurst itself, there is a new railway museum, which has a large model railway layout in HO scale of the Main West railway line between Bathurst and Tarana and the Tarana – Oberon branch line during the the 1950s and 1960s as the main feature. The layout uses DCC control and PC based software to schedule and run the trains.
I also had an opportunity to explore the actual prototype Tarana station, where the Oberon branch diverged from the mainline. Today the Tarana railway station only has one track through it, whereas according to the model railway layout at the museum it once had 2. Apart from that the other features of the actual station appear more or less the same as they were in the 1950s and 1960s.
Most of the Oberon branch seems to be in place, but is in fairly bad condition. However there are apparently plans afoot to rebuild part of the railway line from the Oberon end of the line towards Tarana as a tourist railway. There is currently a rail trail beside the railway line from Oberon for about 6km.