Explore Railway History

ARHS NSW is home to the most comprehensive private archive of railway-related information in Australia.

The Railway Archives are at the heart of what the Society is all about. The Archives are a rich repository of original railway documents; including over a million photographs, 60,000 drawings and thousands of timetables, as well as film, sound recordings, reports and more than 90 years of ARHS magazines, which feature articles covering many aspects of railways in Australia.

Whether you are looking to explore for personal interest or professional research, our archives hold a wealth of information waiting to be discovered. Our collection provides context and background to the development of rail transport in New South Wales, illustrating its impact on society and the economy.

Imagine uncovering rare photographs of early railway stations, detailed engineering drawings of historic locomotives, or personal letters and reports from railway workers and officials. Our archives are a treasure trove for anyone with a passion for railways and history.

Digital Archive Access

In today’s digital age, accessing historical records has never been easier. Explore our collection from the comfort of your own home, no matter where you are in the world. Our user-friendly digital platform makes it easy to search for and view documents, photographs, and films. As a member, you can enjoy free online access to our digitized archives. This is the most cost effective way to access the online archives over a period of time.

If a membership isn’t for you, access to the digital archives costs just $9 for one month's access when purchased during July. Select "one month" and use code JULY9 at checkout. Click below for payment options.

Volunteer Opportunities

Do you have a passion for railway history and some time to spare? Join our dedicated team of volunteers. Volunteering is a rewarding way to contribute to the preservation of railway history. You’ll gain valuable experience, meet like-minded individuals, and play a crucial role in maintaining and expanding our collection.

If you have any of the following skills and would like to help with our work digitizing the archives, please get in touch with The Archives Manager on 02 9699 2736.

• Computer skills in Microsoft Excel, Word or Access
• Data entry and data analysis
• Image and document scanning
• HTML and web editing
• Photoshop, Lightroom or Illustrator for photo enhancement
• Archiving or museum/gallery experience
• Enthusiasm and interest in the subject

We are also looking for people with enthusiasm and skills in social media, graphic design, event management and administration. If you are able to help, please get in touch!

In-person archive visits

For those who prefer hands-on research, we offer the opportunity to visit our archives in person. There’s nothing quite like holding a piece of history in your hands and seeing the original documents up close. A $30 access fee applies for non-members.

The Railway Archives is at 5-7 Henderson Road, Alexandria. We welcome members and visitors by appointment. Many enquiries can be addressed by e-mail or telephone.

To make an appointment contact us: mail@arhsnsw.com.au or phone 02 9699 4595 9am-3pm Monday to Friday.

Follow The Railway Archives on Social Media

ARHS Archives is active on Facebook and Instagram. Follow us and join the conversation with our vibrant online community of rail history enthusiasts.

Explore the past, understand the present, and help preserve the future of railway history with the ARHS NSW Railway Archives.