Roundhouse to aid tourism

Callum HunterSouth Western Times
The Collie Roundhouse was constructed out of off-form concrete in the 1950s.
Camera IconThe Collie Roundhouse was constructed out of off-form concrete in the 1950s. Credit: Callum Hunter

Western Australia’s only remaining roundhouse and turntable have been added to the State Register of Heritage Places.

Built in the 1950s, the Collie Railway Roundhouse was awarded a grant of almost $1 million from the $60 million Collie Futures Industry Development Fund in June, which will be used to help restore the structure.

Collie-Preston MLA Mick Murray said the restored facility would help Collie’s transformation into a tourism destination and would boost the local economy.

“For many years the Collie community have advocated for the restoration and historic recognition of the roundhouse and this is a big step in the right direction,” he said.

“The new heritage listing of the roundhouse will be welcomed by the community as we move towards unlocking its true potential as an attraction that people will travel from across the State to visit and learn about its rich history.”

The roundhouse and turntable were in operation for more than two decades to store and maintain the coal industry’s steam engines before they were decommissioned in the 1970s with the rise of more powerful and efficient diesel locomotives.

The turntable itself is WA’s only remaining electrically articulated timber and metal 100-foot turntable.

Acting Heritage Minister Stephen Dawson said he was pleased the significance of the roundhouse and turntable was being recognised, with the off-form concrete construction of the roundhouse unique to WA.

“The Collie Roundhouse is a significant historical site that demonstrates the development of coal mining in Collie,” he said.

“This reflects the growth of Western Australia in the mid-20th century and the increased consumption of coal for electricity generation that came with that growth.”

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