The Rail Motor Society, based in Paterson, New South Wales, Australia, is a privately owned collection of preserved self-propelled railway vehicles and equipment from the railways of New South Wales. The items in its collection date from 1923 through to 1961.


The Society was established in 1984 as a not-for-profit organisation to collect, preserve and operate a representative fleet of NSW Government Railways rail motors. The Society’s sole focus was to be on self-propelled or diesel multiple unit rolling stock, a principle that it still adheres to today. The Society is an accredited rail operator in both NSW and Queensland and operates heritage tourist trains on the NSW railway network and the standard gauge portion of the Queensland network. The Society also has a museum at its depot site at Paterson.


The Society's origins stem from the Newcastle Branch of the Australian Railway Historical Society where a small band of members proposed a local organisation to preserve and operate some of the 42-Foot Rail Motors that were planned for withdrawal at the end of 1983 by the State Rail Authority (SRA). The nucleus of the Society was established in 1984 with the support of four established heritage organisations - the NSW Division of the Australian Railway Historical Society, the New South Wales Rail Transport Museum, the Zig Zag Railway and the Sydney Tramway Museum. Each of these organisations purchased surplus items of rolling stock from the SRA and these were pooled to form the nucleus of the fledgling Society's fleet. A site for its base in the old goods yard at Paterson was identified and leased and the first rolling stock items were delivered to Paterson from Sydney on New Year's Eve of 1984.

The Rail Motor Society is run entirely by volunteers and self funds its day to day activities, restorations and construction programs from heritage train operations and donations from the public.

The Society's collection is listed on the NSW State Heritage Register and contains the oldest surviving rail motor in NSW - CPH 3. The 620 Class units 621 and 721 are part of the RailCorp core heritage fleet and are mangaged on behalf of the NSW Office of Rail Heritage by the Society under a custody agreement.

Fleet ListingEdit

Number Date Description Disposition
CPH 1 1926 42-Foot Rail Motor Operational
CPH 3 1923 42-Foot Rail Motor Operational
CPH 7 1924 42-Foot Rail Motor Operational
CPH 14 1925 42-Foot Rail Motor Stored
CPH 19 1926 42-Foot Rail Motor Stored
CTC 51 1926 42-Foot Rail Motor Trailer Restoring
HPC 402 1938 400 Class Rail Motor Operational
FT 501 1938 500 Class Rail Motor Trailer Stored
WFP 602 1949 600 Class Rail Motor Operational
FPH 606 1949 600 Class Rail Motor Stored
CT 707 1950 700 Class Rail Motor Trailer Stored
NPF 621 1961 620 Class Rail Motor Operational
NTC 721 1961 720 Class Rail Motor Trailer Operational

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