Formed in 1948, The Sydney Live Steam Locomotive Society (SLSLS) have created a magical train wonderland in West Ryde. The SLSLS are one of the oldest running miniature steam train societies. I remember going to many birthday parties as a child at the West Ryde Mini Trains, including my own, and today they are still a popular birthday party destination.
Held every 3rd Saturday of the month from 1:30pm until around 4:30pm, West Ryde Mini Trains attract both the young and the old. For the next running day have a look at our What’s On Calendar.
The miniature trains have been build to suit 5 1/32″ gage tracks with 3 different layouts in the park. The layouts include bridges (one even reminds me of the Hawkesbury Bridge at Brooklyn), hills and tight corners where you feel like the train may derail.
Each track suits different locomotives with one running double engine trains that can carry up to 30 people and another that runs single engine trains that carry 3 or 4 people. There are working switch points along the tracks, lights and even a signal box. The layout also includes a few stations and a guard tower.
As you travel along you can notice sidings where SLSLS members are cooling down the engines. For the most enthusiastic of train lovers, they even have a turntable and maintenance area where you can watch the members tinker with their trains.
The most important thing is you MUST wear enclosed shoes or you will not be allowed on the trains!
Visiting West Ryde Mini Trains is SUPER affordable, even with the recent price increase (August 2018)! Entry is only $4 for adults, $2 for children. And each ride is just $2 – all people riding need a ticket.
There are no tables but a few benches to sit on, plus lots of grass to spread out a picnic rug. Or you can bring your own chairs.
They have a kiosk onsite selling cool drinks, such as soft drink and juice, as well as tea and coffee. They also sell ice blocks at affordable prices and home made cakes and biscuits. You can bring your own food and drinks however no glass and no alcohol is allowed.
There is limited shade on the train rides and where you have to line up. But there is a nice amount of shade over the picnic area.
When we last went in March 2018, we only ever had to wait one train ride before we got on. But you can wait for over 30mins so remember a hat, sunscreen and plenty of water.
The SLSLS now allow you to pre-purchase entry tickets if you are holding a birthday party at the mini trains. This means that your guests can just hand over their entry ticket rather then you needing to stand at the gate. It can however take 3 weeks for your tickets to arrive. There is no early entry for parties and you cannot reserve an area. For more information contact The SLSLS via email.
Visiting West Ryde Mini Trains is a must-do family outing and lots of fun. We easily spent over an hour there riding and watching the trains.
Finding West Ryde Mini Trains
Entry is via the corner of Betts Street and Anthony Road in West Ryde. It is wheel chair and pram friendly however one of the tracks is on the other side of a bridge that is only accessible by stairs.