Volunteers keep Wagga’s rail history steaming along

Member for Wagga Wagga Dr Joe McGirr has launched a fresh Local Legends initiative, recognising the efforts of champions across the electorate.

Robert Gannon and Phil Horwell of the Wagga Wagga Rail Heritage Station Museum were the first to receive certificates of appreciation from the Wagga MP last month.

Dr McGirr said his program provided the opportunity to meet and honour homegrown crusaders, who gave up their time, resources and expertise to build their community.

“These are the men and women who go above and beyond to help make up the vibrancy of the Wagga mosaic,” Dr McGirr said.

“I know that sounds cliche, but can I just say, people like Phil and Robert make the city a great place to live.”

Both Mr Gannon and Mr Horwell have a combined 100 years of service to rail heritage and have worked hard to keep a fascinating part of the city's history chugging along.

From working across the industry to collecting rail artefacts, the pair in 2005 decided to set up and run a museum dedicated to the world of trains.

Two years after the initial meeting in 2007, the first of three venues was opened to the public.

Since the Station Place museum began its operation, two additional buildings have added coal to the pair’s venture.

“I’m blown away by it all, I have to say,” Dr McGirr said. “The passion of these men is truly commendable. Well done to you both and I wish you the very best.”

If you know a local legend who deserves recognition, you can email the Wagga electorate office at waggawagga@parliament.nsw.gov.au or call 02 6921 1622.