Australian Railway Historical Society
The Australian Railway Historical Society (ARHS) aims to foster an interest in the railways, and record and preserve many facets of railway operations. It had divisions in every state and the Australian Capital Territory, however since 1967 when each division incorporated, they have operated as separate entities. Each division still trades under the ARHS brand, except in Western Australia, where the division is called Rail Heritage WA. Individual membership exceeds 2,500.
The Society was founded in Sydney in 1933 as The Railway Circle, shortly after becoming the Australasian Railway and Locomotive Historical Society. The society's name was changed to the present form in 1952. A division was formed in most states. Most divisions established a railway museum, namely:
- ACT - Canberra Railway Museum, Kingston
- Queensland - Rosewood Railway Museum
- South Australia - SteamRanger operates the Victor Harbor line as a working museum
- Victoria - Australian Railway Historical Society Museum, Williamstown North
- Western Australia - Western Australian Rail Transport Museum, Bassendean
In February 2015, the ACT division commenced operating scrap metal services from Fyshwick to Port Botany through its commercial division, Espee Railroad Services, with locomotives and wagons leased from CFCL Australia. In November 2016 the Canberra Railway Museum was suddenly closed after this commercial division, which had been started up to subsidise popular but expensive heritage train trips, collapsed with more than $700,000 of debt. The ACT Division of the ARHS was placed into liquidation.
Railway Resource CentreEdit
Located at the New South Wales division's Alexandria premises, The Railway Resource Centre is a collection of historical material pertaining to Australian railways, managed by the Society and volunteers. Access to the collection is available to members and to the general public for private research only. It houses thousands of documents, books, periodicals, photographs and slides which the Society has acquired over many years. It is constantly being added to by acquisitions through donations and bequests from Australian Railway Historical Society members and others.
Each division has published and supported publishing of books and pamphlets about the history of regional railways. Significantly divisions have been the main resource of expertise in creating centenary and other anniversary publications regarding rail history. The New South Wales Division operate shops in Alexandria and on the concourse at Central station. The society also maintains the Railway Resource Centre. The centre houses the thousands of documents, books, periodicals, photographs and slides that the Society has acquired over many years.
Each Division publishes magazines, at various frequencies. A dedicated magazine for the whole of Australia was also published for many decades - simply as the Bulletin (1952–2003), it is now called Australian Railway History. Prior to 1952, it was known as the Australasian Railway and Locomotive Historical Society Bulletin. It includes historical material from all states, published monthly by the New South Wales Division. The seven state and territory Divisions of that Society additionally publish magazines that vary in content and depth, but which provide items of local information about state railway history and activities.
- NSW Division: Railway Digest, Australian Railway History
- Queensland Division: Sunshine Express
- SA Division: Newsletter
- Tasmania Division: Tasmanian Rail News
- Victorian Division: Members newsletter, Newsrail
- WA Division: The Westland
The Tasmanian Division was originally a subdivision of the much larger Victorian Division, until 1965 when increasing interest and falling printing costs made a separate division possible.
Other societies and organisations with which the Australian Railway Historical Society is affiliated include:-
- Australian Electric Traction Association
- Canadian Railway Historical Association
- East Coast Heritage Rail
- Irish Railway Record Society
- Light Railway Research Society of Australia
- Light Rail Transit Association (UK)
- Narrow Gauge Railway Society (UK)
- National Railway Historical Society (USA)
- New Zealand Railway and Locomotive Society
- Rail Motor Society
- Railway Correspondence and Travel Society (UK)
- Railway Society of Southern Africa
- Royal Australian Historical Society
- Trainworks Railway Museum
Rail heritage is not the exclusive domain of the ARHS in Australia, and at various stages other groups of enthusiasts and individuals have endeavoured to create niches in the publishing and rail heritage businesses.
- The Constitution and the change of the Society's name Australian Railway Historical Society Bulletin January 1952 page 10
- "Rosewodd Railway Museum". ARHS Queensland. Retrieved 6 June 2017.
- Canberra railway freight services to start again after 32 years Access Recycling
- A new railway plan for Canberra's scrap metal Canberra Times 6 March 2015
- "Rail freight returns to Canberra" Railway Digest March 2015 page 8
- O'Mallon, Finbar. "Back on track: Canberra Railway Museum set to reopen". The Canberra Times. Retrieved 22 August 2018.
- "Railway Museum runs out of steam - Canberra CityNews". Canberra CityNews. 17 November 2016. Retrieved 18 November 2016.
- Investigation into child sex offender Robert Whitehead’s involvement with Puffing Billy and other railway bodies Victorian Ombudsman June 2018
- Railways changes should not prevent making abuse claims Ryan Carlisle Thomas Lawyers 29 July 2020
- Railway Resource Centre
- Bookshop Australian Railway Historical Society
- Australian Railway Historical Society (1952), Bulletin, Australian Railway Historical Society, ISSN 0005-0105
- Australian Railway Historical Society; Australasian Railway and Locomotive Historical Society (1950), Bulletin, Australasian Railway and Locomotive Historical Society, retrieved 14 January 2013
- Australian Railway Historical Society. New South Wales Division (1983), Railway digest, The Society, ISSN 0157-2431
- Australian Railway Historical Society. New South Wales Division; Australian Railway Historical Society (2004), Australian railway history : bulletin of the Australian Railway Historical Society, Australian Railway Historical Society, New South Wales Division, ISSN 1449-6291
- Australian Railway Historical Society. Queensland Division (1960), Sunshine Express, Australian Railway Historical Society, retrieved 14 January 2013
- Australian Railway Historical Society. South Australian Division (1990), Newsletter, Australian Railway Historical Society, South Australian Division, retrieved 6 July 2012
- Australian Railway Historical Society. Tasmanian Division (1965), Tasmanian Rail News, The Division, retrieved 14 January 2013
- Australian Railway Historical Society. Victorian Division (1973), Members newsletter, The Society, Victorian Division, retrieved 6 July 2012
- Australian Railway Historical Society. Victorian Division (1973), Newsrail, Australian Railway Historical Society, Victorian Division, ISSN 0310-7477
- Australian Railway Historical Society. Western Australian Division (1985), The Westland, The Division, retrieved 6 July 2012
- Australian Railway Historical Society NSW Div. Annual Report 2007–2008