Merriwa Railway Society Incorporated

Steaming ahead To preserve Our Rail Heritage

2010 News Archive

Sunday the 26th December 2010.

Recently our group have been fortunate to pick up more new members and receive a Cultural Grant. During the year we received a Donation from a local Financial Institution. Our Dulux Paint donation will be honoured early in 2011, with painting possibly starting at the January working bee.

The MRSI group is holding it's 3rd Working Bee on Saturday the 15th of January 2011. 

Our first two working bee's have been attended by many of the locals who are supportive of the Railway Station project.

Applications have been made for Donation of a Ride on Mower to help with the maintenance of the Station Property.

A new fence is being erected along the Brisbane street boundary and many plants have been planted on the property.

The Merriwa nursery is to supply the plants for the Hedge which will be replanted along the eastern end of the platform.

Many thanks to our Sponsors which now totals 4.

Saturday the 18th of December 2010.

Here are some recent achievements for our group. We have Volunteer Insurance in place, Public Liability Insurance in place, which enabled our group to start our Working Bee's in November. Our third Working bee is to be held on the 15th of January 2011.

Our group is now an affiliate member of the Royal Australian Historical Society.

We were fortunate to be mentioned at the NSW Volunteer Heritage awards on the 3rd of December and we have been mentioned on the Heritage Council's Website.

The local Upper Hunter Valley Newspapers have been very generous to us with many articles written about the MRSI. Even a Front Page article on the 27th of October in the Hunter Valley Newspaper. We thank them for their interest and participation in our restoration project.

While working at the last Working Bee, one of the Volunteers was able to tell us of his many trips on the Railmotor, from Merriwa to Musswellbrook. New Members are welcome to join up to help us with this rewarding and interesting project.

In the future we will be seeking past passengers and employees of the Railmotor Services to Merriwa.


Brian Leedham, President Secretary, Merriwa Railway Society Incorporated.

Thursday the 16th of December 2010.


The group's next working Bee will be held on Saturday the 15th of january 2011. Check out the article in the Merriwa Ringer on page 33 of this week's edition.


Saturday the 4th of December 2010.

Our Next working bee will be on Saturday the 11th of December at the Merriwa Railway Station. See you there.

24th of November 2010.

Since the 24th of October the Merriwa Railway Society Incorporated has been very fortunate to have several Articles in the local Newspapers, with two each in the Hunter Valley News and the Merriwa Ringer. The most important one was a Front page article in the Hunter Valley News.

A copy of this story has been placed on our new blog, check out the link here,

Our first Working bee was held on the Weekend of the 13th oand 14th of November with 12 Volunteers attending on Saturday the 13th and 5 Volunteers turning up on Sunday the 14th of November.

Our next working bee will be held in December, a date is yet to be confirmed. two Volunteers attended the Merriwa site on the 20th of November and more work was acheived. Check out this link for photos of the Working Bee days.

 If you are interested in this project we have links on the Links page as well

4th November 2010.

Check out our media page.

30th of October 2010.

Last Sunday, the 24th of October, 1 year from the inaugural meeting at Merriwa, we held a meeting at the Merriwa RSL, then after the meeting we visited the Railway Station and were able to inspect the inside of the building. Luckily there are not too many surprises, so now it is on to the Working bee on the Weekend of the 13th and 14th of November. We will have all things in place to allow us to start work on that weekend. In the week leading up to the meeting, Vera Russel became a member of our group and she was able to supply Brian Baker , our Merriwa Co-ordinator a key to allow us to enter the building and this allowed us to open it up and let us inspect it.

Another 4 prospective members are due to join before the Working bee Weekend. Check out the media page for the articles that have been printed for us in the Merriwa Ringer and the Hunter Valley Newspaper. Some starr picketts have been placed in the ground and some safety tape strung up due to the condition of the Platform Face at the station.

We have lots of plans and would like as many people on board as possible to make this project a reality. A Big thankyou must go to those who have helped us so far. Regards,

Brian Leedham.

29th of October 2010

Lots of News to tell, stay tuned.


5th of September

We are hoping to have some news about the lease in the next couple of weeks. It has been a long wait.

Some new photos have been added to the Photo gallery.

We have also started a new Blog.

If you would like the address of the new Blog email us and we can forward the URL to you.

Trent or myself can send you the URL and our emails are on the contacts page.


1st of August 2010.

This morning I received an email from Allan McRae the great grandson of the man who was responsible for campaigning for the Railway to Merriwa, who's name was also Allan McRae. Allan, the great grandson has added 4 photographs to our Photo gallery in the Historic Album.

25th July 2010.

Some up to date news for all to read.

Yesterday we had our monthly meeting. There was much discussion and planning done. During our meeting, Bryan Baker our Merriwa co-ordinator advised that Mavis McRae lived in the current house that is close to the Wappinguy Railway Station Location.

After the meeting we visited the Station precinct and observed a few things that we can plan to do once we have started the Station building painting project. Some photos will follow this news report. The Platform face needs repairs in several areas so that may be the next project or we may be able to do this while the painting is in progress.

Forgot to add that the Upper Hunter Shire council removed two trees for us at the Station precinct, a Privet bush on the Platform and a bush in front of the Goods Shed.

I have uploaded some photos taken in the afternoon and put some on my facebook page as well as some on my personal Face book page.

Shortly I will upload them to my Flickr Wilfred 59 account.

We also inspected the line at Wappinguy, with more discussion about what we need to do.

Have a nice day.

Brian Leedham.

Photos taken during site inspection by Trent Pegler

 This section of the platform is where the Three Privet Trees use to reside.  The Trees can be seen on the ground behind the platform. The post was once part of the Station Sign. We thank the Upper Hunter Shire Council for removing the trees from the platform.

 A view of the Platform Edging and the Line alongside looking North. The condition of parts of the Edging is quite poor and will most likely need replacing.


The Goods Shed. The Loading Platform will need significant work and some of the corrugated iron sheeting may need replacing.


This set of Points leads to the former Stock Siding and the Bulk Wheat Siding. Most sleepers in the yard will need to be replaced.


1st of July 2010.

Good morning,

We have lots of News to tell our members and followers. Recently Bryan Baker picked up a new member in Merriwa. Her name is Mavis McRae and her husband, Gerard was the Grandson of Allan McRae, who was the mastermind for getting the Railway to Merriwa. Her son made a donation to the group and so did she and as I said above she has become a member of the group. Thankyou Mavis. More news will follow tonight when I have more time to do it.

Many Thanks to all our followers and the members who started out last October. Thanks also to the New members who have joined recently.

June 13th 2010.

Good Afternoon,

Yesterday, the 12th June 2010 I was fortunate to be involved in the Festival of Fleeces at Merriwa. This festival has been running for 20 years and the MRS-Inc was encouraged to walk in the Parade to promote our group. Bryan baker and myself, plus a couple of our members walked up the main street with a Banner to help promote the Merriwa Railway Society Incorporated. Before and after the parade we had a display, using the banner, flyers and membership forms set up on a card table at the front of the Merriwa Historical Society in the Main street.

Many people came to find out what we were about which gave Bryan and myself the opportunity to talk to many people, locals, people from Newcastle, Scone, Murrurundi and Cassilis.

A Railcorp employee who originally came from Gungal, who still has relatives in the area was able to advise us that there had been two Stations at Gungal. So I have some research to do to find more information about this.

We gained a new member from the Central Coast of New South Wales and several people took Membership forms and Information Flyers.

It was a great experience.

June 6th 2010.

Good evening,

Further to the meeting held on the 23rd of May, another meeting was held on the 25th of May, at Merriwa, at the Council offices as well as at the Railway Station. The people at this meeting were, Paul Purcell from the ARTC office at Newcastle, who is the Regional property manager, Teena Renes, Property Officer-North, Steve Pryor, Upper Hunter Shire Council Services Manager and also in attendance was Bryan Baker, the Merriwa Railway Society Co-ordinator, who has been very busy promoting this project. Paul and Teena assured us that the lease would be finalised either on the 1st of June or the 1st of July. The 1st of june has passed, so July looks like the month of start up for work on the station. 

Good Evening,

Good News, our group conducted a general meeting in Merriwa yesterday( May the 23rd 2010) with a very successful meeting lasting 1.5 hours. Attendees came from the Central Coast, Newcastle, Singleton and members from Merriwa itself. We discussed our plans for the Station Building and advised the attendees that Dulux has donated 100 litres of paint to help restore the building. The lease may be signed this week after a meeting between UHSC and ARTC. Once we have the lease we can get our insurance organised and organise our volunteers to start our restoration projects.

If you are interested in becoming a member of our group go to the membership page for a form to join up.

Regards, Brian Leedham.

April the 18th 2010


Setting the record straight.


Good morning, The reason for this bit of news is to set the record staight over recent events that may have happened. I have been told an email has circulated around NSW that there is a takeover attempt on the Merriwa Railway Society. I am pleased to advise that there is no takeover as it is not possible unless a generel meeting of all paid members is called. This is via our constitution which is lodged with the Australian Taxation Office.


Regards, Brian Leedham. Secretary. Merriwa Railway Society Inc.


April 3rd 2010

Well the lease was supposed to be signed on the first of march but it still has not happened. Sorry for the delay folks. We do have some news about sponsors. Dulux have come on board and promised to supply 100 litres of paint for our project. Merriwa Nursery are also going to supply some plants for us as well. Many thanks to these two new Sponsors.

Our group now has Fundraising status.

Regards, Brian Leedham. Secretary.

7th March 2010

Just advising that we are still waiting for ARTC to sign the lease. We are hoping that it will be done in the next week so that we can make plans for our first working bee.

Friday the 5th of March I attended a meeting at the ITSRR offices in Sydney to get clarification on what we have to do at Merriwa to make the project move into the future in the correct manner. It was a very fruitful and informative meeting.

Regards, Brian Leedham. Secretary.

25 January 2010  

The MRS Executive Committee held a meeting at Singleton on 23rd Jan 2010.

Present at the meeting were existing members - Bryan Baker, Brian Leedham, Phil Buckley, Paul Bird, Trent Pegler and Laurie Vran . 2 new Non executives were introduced into the committee - Mark Dalton and Andrew Tailby.

The MRS now has a improved management/operations team.
This new team has over 90years+ combined heritage railway experience and with some of these people working in current railway operations, it is well structured to ensure the society's growth into the future. It will help in all our stakeholder relationship building programs with agencies such as ARTC, ORH, ITSRR and UHSC.
Having extra people in operations will dramatically improve the ability to acheive more tasks and to help spread out some of the extensive paperwork requirements coming up in 2010.

The MRS looks forward to working with the new non executives in the upcoming stages over the next year, as the railway project moves forward with rapaid development.

4 January, 2010


I have been busy preparing an application to register for an ABN and GST. It is in the final stages of filling out before it is submitted to the Tax Office for processing.


Brian is continuing to work on various documents and paperwork to enable the Society to commence fundraising as soon as allowed by the office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing.


Trent Pegler