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About Us

Our Values


Safety is our number one priority.  All things else are secondary.  We will not compromise on this.


We desire to operate in a manner that is repeatable, respecting financial, operational, people and environmental aspects of sustainability.


Volunteers and members will work as a team within the company and with other organisations.  There are no individuals, and the success of the team is to be put before that of the individual.


We value our rail heritage and its role in the development of NSW and Australia.  We aim to preserve it for the benefit of today’s and future generations.

Our History

In 1983 a small working party met to investigate the feasibility of returning one of the 38 class steam locomotives to working order as an initiative of the then Chief Executive of State Rail. Attention was focused on the class leader, 3801, as the best existing exhibit for restoration. At that time, the Hunter Valley Training Company were seeking job skill training work for out-of-trade power industry apprentices caused by a recession in the Hunter Valley. As a consequence, HVTC undertook the restoration of 3801 over a 3-year period from November 1983 to November 1986 during which time some 300 apprentices worked on it, learning their trade in the process.
With the locomotive set to return to service, 3801 Limited was incorporated on the 5th June 1985 at the behest of the State Rail Authority.  As a company limited by guarantee, its prime purpose was the maintenance and operation of locomotive 3801 and its train for the benefit of the people of NSW. This we did with great success for some 20 years, carrying over half a million passengers and operating a regular program of tour and charter trains to a variety of destinations both in NSW and interstate. During this period, 3801 ran to destinations such as Alice Springs, Canberra, and every mainland state capital, most notably hauling the Bicentennial Train in 1988 and performing an extensive year of tours alongside the famous Flying Scotsman.
With the return of Locomotive 3801 to predecessors of Transport Heritage NSW in 2006, we continued to focus on our passenger experiences, delivering a range of tours to the public with a wide range of historic steam and diesel locomotives.  We also continued to work on the restoration and maintenance of rolling stock.  Recent highlights have included the return to service of lounge car CAM502 and diesel Locomotive 42101, both of which are now regular fixtures in the roster alongside the rest of our locomotive and carriage fleet.

Our Purpose

• The promotion of railway tours using historic locomotives and rolling stock

• The maintenance of heritage locomotives and carriages in operating condition

• The acquisition and lease of historic railway rolling stock

• The restoration and commissioning of historic railway rolling stock

• Collaboration with kindred rail heritage organizations including sharing of heritage rolling stock and joint activities

• The use of heritage locomotives and crews for passenger, freight rail, work trains and restoration services on request.

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