Established in 1991, the Cooma Monaro Railway (CMR) is an Australian Heritage Railway Museum and Tourist Railway, based at Cooma Station in the alpine region of southeast New South Wales.
For 10 years there were no trains to be seen in the Monaro area, until CMR commenced tourist train operations in December 1998. Services were run by our CPH-class railmotors, of which we have three (CPH 6, 8 and 22) along with trailer car CTC 55 (a matching carriage to the CPH class) with a driver’s compartment at one end.
Up until 2014, CMR operated a successful heritage railway museum including the popular tourist train rides between Cooma and the small village of Chakola to the north using a fleet of heritage CPH Railmotors.
In 2014, due to the deteriorating condition of the railway infrastructure, CMR suspended its railway and museum operations and commenced an internal restructure to strengthen both its corporate and operational governance, allowing the organisation to recommence operations in a more planned and sustainable manner and improve its heritage railway product offering.
Since then, CMR has undertaken considerable work to repair, restore and upgrade the infrastructure with the Cooma Railway Station Precinct. The former District Locomotive Engineer’s building has been rebuilt from a shell-like state to a functioning headquarters for CMR members. The building now has a fully functioning kitchen, office, training room and ablutions facilities for men and women.
Electricity and potable water have been re-established in the yard, and security measures, including cameras and a palisade fence now protect the precinct. Extensive repairs and restoration work at the station are nearly complete, with the Station Master’s Office (restored to an 1890’s configuration), the Waiting Room and the Signal Box all now available for viewing by the public.
In 2022, a public museum was established in the Parcel Room and surrounding railway precinct.
Our focus is now on the return of tourist trains and the restoration of the railway line between Snowy Junction to the north of Cooma Station and the southern terminus at Bombala.