Archer Park Rail Museum
Archer Park Rail Museum
4.5
Monday
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 1:00 PM
About
Archer Park Rail Museum tells the story of rail in the Rockhampton district. Housed in Archer Park Station, built in 1899, it features displays of rail memorabilia, a variety of rolling stock including carriages and engines, and the only working Purrey Steam Tram in the world (operating February to November). Experience a steam train arriving at the station with the Digital Soundscape system. Open Sunday 9am-1pm, Monday to Thursday 10am-3pm. Archer Park Rail Museum is owned by Rockhampton Regional Council. Rockhampton Region - gateway to Central Queensland.
Suggested duration
2-3 hours
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Address
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
112 reviews
Excellent
67
Very good
37
Average
5
Poor
0
Terrible
3

Paul L
Hallam, Australia940 contributions
Aug. 2023 • Solo
This railway museum was a bit of a surprise to me as it was better than I initially expected.

The place is reasonably priced and has a few tourist knick-knacks to purchase if that's your thing. There are the usual static displays of railway paraphernalia on hand and a small cafe with basic fare on offer.

The main attractions are a refurbished local tram (who knew there were ever trams in Rockhamption?) and a train that is fun to stroll about in to see how long distance rail travel looked in days of yore. If you've ever done overnight trips on trains you'll probably find this entertaining to look at for a few minutes.

Easy to find a park nearby and it's a good idea to combine seeing this with the nearby military museum.
Written 28 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Alannah B
Brisbane, Australia9 contributions
Aug. 2023
This is a must see for all ages especially those who remember what it was like. Loved the ride on the steam tram. The displays were excellent. The volunteers were friendly and informative.
Would happily visit again when next in town.
Written 15 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

auriel b
Canberra, Australia151 contributions
Feb. 2023 • Solo
I highly recommend the option to have a guided tour of the museum. All the volunteers and staff are friendly and welcoming. The exhibits are plentiful and well supported with written material and sound bites.
Written 24 February 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Paul and Debra
11 contributions
Sep. 2022
A trip on the Steam Tram is a must do at the Archer Park Rail Museum. Trip on the 1939 tram is included in your entry price.
Very interesting place to visit with a lot of Exhibits.
Written 28 September 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

C...
Victoria, Australia64,647 contributions
Jul. 2022
Archer Park Station opened to the public in December 1899, built to a design by Henrick Hansen, a Queensland Rail architect. This was the second station that I visited of the same design, the first I had visited was Mount Morgan. Initially the trains from here only serviced local areas...such as the beautiful seaside town of Emu Park... but later the Brisbane-Rockhampton Line was established in 1903. As many as 25 trains a day passed through this station in its heyday.

In 1970 everything drew to a halt when the decision to withdraw the rail service was made the year before.

However, let me digress a little here... In 1904 J.D.Bogie, the Station Master, came on duty at 05:30, despatched two trains... found time to eat breakfast, then shot himself. His motivation according to the suicide note was financial problems... those financial problems didn't stop him from purchasing a new shotgun for his suicide.

Railway employees will often gather and share stories after working in the rail industry ... these stories often can't be shared due to their bizarre nature...as you can imagine, it's a focal point for many lives so thus comes the unusual happenings.

I visited this museum on a day that the tram was running which is a quaint experience... the line is not very long, and with the manual signalling when out of the station ... it's clear why a quieter day like a Sunday was chosen to run these. I really enjoyed my time here.
Written 30 July 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lorraine L
Tarwin Lower, Australia3,009 contributions
May 2022
We loved this museum, it isn't huge but very well set out. The building and interiors are in good repair, the engines and carriages were in excellent condition and the displays were all very interesting. They have ghost like statues dotted around the platform and offices that tell their own story of the times the station was active. Our favourite though was the short ride we took on the steam tram. Rates are very reasonable for this exhibit.
Written 2 May 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Therese L
Canberra, Australia286 contributions
Apr. 2022
We visited the Museum on a drizzly, overcast Wednesday morning and were very glad we did. Located in the former Archer Park railway station, itself an attractive historic building, the museum only has a couple of restored locos and a restored tram. Nevertheless, it has been very well done with life size figures on the platform, in the signal room, old team room, and ticket office. It is immaculately maintained by the team of volunteers and has many railway artefacts, photos and history/information boards on display. There are lots of photo opportunities for shutterbugs. Highly recommended.
Written 24 April 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Andy G
1 contribution
Dec. 2021 • Family
Advertised as open, closed. This is peak vistor season. We travelled 6 hours, what a disappointment. Don't trust TripAdvisor or their website.
Written 28 December 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Karen M
Brisbane Region, Australia43 contributions
Nov. 2021
This was a fascinating morning and tour with a guide who was a train driver himself. The tour was interesting and the guide had a lot of knowledge and a good sense of humour.
Written 26 November 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

OrderintheHouse
Brisbane2,810 contributions
Jun. 2021
I had occasion to attend an important lunch event in Rockhampton in June 2021 and took the opportunity to enjoy a few days stay in Rockhampton to see a number of excellent tourist attractions.

How fortunate that I had a free day on a Sunday in Rockhampton to include a visit to the outstanding Archer Park Railway Museum in Denison Street between Archer and Cambridge Streets, because on each Sunday the Museum has the world’s only working Steam Tram operating for a few hours. The ride takes place on 1.1 kilometres of isolated tram track between Albert Street and Fitzroy Street running parallel to the main line on Denison Street. There is believed to be one other fully restored steam tram in a Paris Museum; however it is only a static display.

The Museum is based around the former, fully restored, ornate Archer Park Railway Station and this is an outstanding historical attraction in itself. Built in 1900 to serve major centres on the Central Line, including Mt Morgan, Archer Park is a fine piece of Victorian design function incorporating facade features. It was designed by leading Queensland Railways Architect, Henrik Hansen, who is attributed with the designing of other historic Railway Stations at Mt Morgan, Emerald, Longreach, Shorncliffe and South Brisbane. The large curved roof covering the tracks and platform which is a feature here at Archer Park is a Hansen innovation. The Queensland Railways decommissioned Archer Park as a working Railway Station in February 1970.

There are some fabulous railway exhibits in the Museum including ‘walk in’ historical train carriages (including JCS Sleeping Car 1007 dating back to 1921 and used on the Brisbane to Cairns line), nicely restored steam engines (including the Brown Bomber C17 988 built in Maryborough in the 1950s) and an array on interesting railway rolling stock. A ‘must see’ are the extensive displays in the Station Master’s Office including old kerosene lamps, railway tickets, railway conductor’s uniforms, old railway timetables, a well preserved ticket cabinet, assorted railway signage, old railway clocks and other interesting railway memorabilia.

A really innovative feature of the Museum are the life-like mannequins located on the main platform portraying a range of reality situations of station life in the 1930s, such as families going on holiday, wartime couples saying goodbye, an old man with a walking stick playing the piano accordion on a railway seat or the railway workers in the Station Master’s Office. The mannequins are made with real clothes, sprayed with a hardening resin then painted with car body paint. An added feature bringing these mannequins to life is the state-of-the-art digital soundscape accompanying each exhibit. One of the really moving soundscapes is the one involving the wartime couple saying goodbye- so sensitively handled.

However, the ‘jewel in the crown’ on a Sunday visit to the Museum has to be the working Purrey Steam Tram. In 1908 the Rockhampton Council purchased four steam trams from Bordeaux in France to build a city tramway. The trams were made by Valentin Purrey and were in operation in Rockhampton from 1909 to 1939 with nine tramcars and six trailers in the fleet. After the trams' decommissioning in 1939 they were left abandoned on various farm properties. Tram and train enthusiast found several remains of these abandoned vehicles in 1986 and the council and businesses got parts and faithfully rebuilt a complete working tram unit mostly from what they had found out in the bush. The first tram rides took place in 1988. It really is a remarkable story and how wonderful that Rockhampton has something so unique – the only working steam tram still running anywhere in the world. That is just so awesome and reason alone why visitors must try to visit this Museum on a Sunday. I thoroughly enjoyed my ride on this restored tram.

A visit to the room in the Museum devoted exclusively to all aspects of the history of the Steam Tram and how it functioned and its trials and tribulations in its 30 year period of operation is a must. Visitors will gain a keener insight into the importance of this tram experience by visiting this room.

You need to devote several hours to see all the exhibits here at the Museum. The volunteer staff who man the place are highly dedicated and very informative and they go out of their way to be helpful to visitors. We owe these people a huge debt of gratitude for their dedication to wanting to maintain this important aspect of Australia’s history – the golden era of the railway and the short reign of the Rockhampton Steam Trams.

If visitors have time a visit to the Railway Refreshment Room at Archer Park is worthwhile to get some refreshments. I decided to have their Devonshire Tea of tea and scones and jam and cream. It’s a truly fabulous room complete with one of those ‘life like’ mannequins at a piano playing a range of old favourite tunes. The piano being played by the mannequin was built in 1863 and restored in 2000. The Refreshment Room was an ‘add on’ to the original station in 1907.

I was so thrilled to have had the opportunity to visit this wonderful attraction in Rockhampton and to enjoy the unique experience of taking a ride on the only working steam tram in the world.

For me Archer Park has to be one of the best railway museums I have visited anywhere. I encourage visitors to Rockhampton not to miss it.
Written 18 November 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Archer Park Rail Museum: All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

Frequently Asked Questions about Archer Park Rail Museum

Archer Park Rail Museum is open:
  • Sun - Sun 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
  • Mon - Thu 10:00 am - 3:00 pm