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The Tasmanian Transport Museum

28 October 2011 No Comment

Transport Musuem Tasmania
If you are a kid of any age there’s a good chance you like trains, steam trains especially, but usually any train will do.

Finding trains in Tasmania can be tough though, as the last regular passenger services stopped here in 1978. Getting a ride on one can be hard and attempting to experience the era of steam even harder still.

The Tasmanian Transport Museum in Hobart seems to have this licked. Twice a month they run free train rides (free once you’ve paid for admission to the museum that is). Trains are run on the first and third Sunday of the month. The diesel railmotor runs on the first Sunday and a steam locomotive runs on the third Sunday.

The track they run on is about 500 metres long so the rides aren’t exactly lengthy but you can ride as often and for as long as you like.

When you’ve finished with the train rides, the museum has a vast array of other exhibits that you can get up close and personal with.

The train sheds with all the locomotives was the obvious next place for me to explore. The smells of a bygone era were intoxicating.

Everywhere there are static displays and lots of information panels. The museum has a fire engine display that is manned by actual firemen who worked with the gear. Their stories and enthusiasm give the display a unique appeal.

The museum also houses a collection of trolley buses. I keep forgetting about this form of transport and it surprises me to see such an array of “weird” vehicles. They seem to fall into the “what were they thinking” category of transport.

Everything is impressively restored and those things in the process of being restored provide an interesting insight into just how much work and skill goes into the restoration process. How these people turn a lump of rust back into a steam engine I just don’t know!

I don’t think you have to be a train, truck, bus or fire engine enthusiast to appreciate this museum, but if you are you’ll love it.

The museum’s web site is run by volunteers and not all that easy to find. It is, however, worth visiting the web site before you go to the museum to keep abreast of any special events taking place, check pricing and verify running times.

David Moore lives and works in the Huon Valley. He runs a computer business, I Hate My PC and writes computer/tech stuff for a couple of online magazines but his real passion is comedy. Keep an eye out for him doing “stand up” somewhere near you soon!

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