Richmond Vale Railway Museum will celebrate its 40th anniversary with a Family Fun Fest on the weekend of September 28 and 29.
Just over two years have passed since the museum on Leggetts Drive was devastated by a bushfire, and full service has resumed, with plenty of attractions for people of all ages to enjoy.
Museum chairman Peter Meddows said the organisation was founded in 1979 in response to an invitation from Cessnock City Council, and members commenced work clearing scrub on the Richmond Main Colliery site in the second half of that year.
"Since that time, we have reinstated the railway infrastructure, reconnected the passenger line to the former Pelaw Main Colliery, maintained locomotives and carriages, and have assumed the custodianship of the onsite mining museum following the collapse of a previous management committee," Mr Meddows said.
"As a result, we have been able to provide enjoyment and education for hundreds of thousands of visitors over more than three decades of operation."
Mr Meddow said the bushfire disaster of 2017 was the museum's greatest challenge yet, but with the support of the community and the railway engineering industry, the railway was back in limited operation within six months.
"This support continues to this very day and is allowing us gradually to restore the museum to full service as the only operating heritage railway between the Hawkesbury River and the Queensland border," he said.
The Family Fun Fest will be a weekend of activity for all ages, including unlimited rides on full-sized and miniature trains, a model railway display, woodturning demonstrations, a display of railway artefacts and collectibles, facepainting and in the mining museum, displays of mining history and the showing of historic films.
The popular U-drive model of Thomas the Tank Engine will also return for the entertainment of younger patrons.
There is ample space in the museum grounds for a family picnic, or hot and cold snacks are available from the museum canteen.
The museum is located at 262 Leggetts Drive Richmond Vale, about three kilometres south of Pelaw Main.
Opening hours are 9.30am to 4pm on Saturday, September 28 and Sunday, September 29.
Admission is $16 adults, $11 concession, $7.50 children 5-15, with free entry for children under five.