History

The heritage listed railway station, consisting of the original sandstone building with a slate roof, which remains as the basis for the present two-storey building, was opened in 1868.

Many additions and modifications have been carried out since then. In 1873-74 there were additions to include a Refreshment Room and facilities. With increased demand, further additions were carried out in 1884-85 to include a ‘three-course’ Dining Room and the second storey to house the Refreshment Room manager, staff and travellers.

By the turn of the century, Mount Victoria was a popular tourist and holiday centre.

Several people in an automobile, top down

Many trains terminated here for passengers to refresh themselves before continuing their journey west or to transfer to horse and coach, later to motor transport, to visit Jenolan Caves.

The blue ‘Caves Express’ was introduced in the 1920s to bring many hundreds of visitors to the area. The transport of local freight to and from the city was also catered for, with goods and stock yards also incorporated into the station complex.

The Caves Express, a steam train, running along line

Some 40 people were employed in the Refreshment Rooms in its busiest times. The Refreshment Rooms were leased out until 1916 after which the Railway Department took over the operations of the Rooms.

In 1910-1911, following the duplication of the line, the ‘upside’ buildings were erected. They contained light refreshment room and facilities, waiting room, booking and parcels office.

During World War ll, the station was a welcome refreshment stop for troop trains and POW trains going west to Cowra. After the way, migrant trains stopped for refreshments.

Electrification in 1957 brought the steam era to an end. In 1960 the Refreshment Rooms closed due to faster train services having ‘on-train’ refreshment services available, and road transport being used to a greater extent.

The Refreshment Rooms remained closed and unused until 1971 when the Mount Victoria Historical Society took up a lease on the premises where it now operates the Museum housing it’s local history collection.

Modern picture: women in uniform standing in the refreshment room

Some of the ladies who originally worked in the Refreshment Rooms dressed up in their old uniforms to serve customers during a re-enactment of old times during the Great Train Weekend in 2009.