THNSW allows sector groups to borrow objects under loan agreements and apply for custody of rolling stock items.

Please complete and submit the appropriate application form and email it to


How do we find out what is available for loan and identify which object(s) we want?

A majority of the State Moveable Heritage Collection can be viewed online and most objects are able to be borrowed. A handful of items are too delicate or rare to be lent out, some have borrowing restrictions and others are currently out on loan.

Be as specific as possible when making your request. Each object has a catalogue number, which can be found online. Include this number in your application form to clearly state which object(s) you’re interested in.

You’re also able to provide a prioritised list of objects. This will allow us to process objects in the order you prefer to receive them.

How much notice does THNSW need to process an application?

We always ask for a minimum of four months’ notice for any initial application. If possible, we recommend six months’ notice for small objects. This enables our team to manage the loan process, schedule condition checks and arrange transportation dates.

Rolling stock custody applications may take longer to process due to shifting requirements. Every case is different.

Object requests occasionally change for a variety of reasons, but we aim to meet original timelines.

Can we restore objects?

Most objects in the State Moveable Heritage Collection are considered museum objects, meaning their patina and evidence of wear is considered part of their story and significance. It’s unlikely you will be permitted to fully reconstruct or restore objects.

However, there are many examples where repainting, restoration or demonstration are considered appropriate. Please contact THNSW to discuss further if reconstruction is an important component of your plans for an object.

Do we need a professional museum facility to borrow objects?

The State Moveable Heritage Collection is not restricted by set requirements for environmental conditions or light levels (some items may be subject to more restrictive conditions). However, we do require all loaned objects to be physically covered at all times, unless the items are operational. For instance, a locomotive may be uncovered during passenger trips.

Security is considered for all objects, but particularly delicate and small items. These assets must be displayed in a locked cabinet or showcase.

Whenever a loan or custody agreement is confirmed, we will provide advice (and potentially supplies) to assist with object preservation while under your care.

Will THNSW pay to transport objects?

We manage a limited pool of funding to support the transportation of loaned items from the State Moveable Heritage Collection each year. Eligible organisations may apply for the payment of one transportation movement each calendar year by emailing

How long can we borrow objects?

Under the terms of THNSW’s agreement with the NSW State Government, loans are restricted to a maximum of five years. There is typically an option to renew at the end of this period.

There is no minimum length of time for a loan. However, THNSW reserves the right to consider the amount of time and resources required to prepare an object for loan, and is unlikely to approve a loan that is less than a fortnight.

How many objects can we borrow?

You are able to borrow as many items as you need. Keep in mind, you are required to pay for the transportation of all loaned items (excluding your first if you’re eligible for payment of transportation) if you apply for multiple within the same year.

Will THNSW assist with object installation?

If you are a volunteer organisation, we will do our best to have one member of our heritage and collections team accompany the object(s) to assist with installation.

What happens after submitting an application?

After THNSW receives your application, we will hold a meeting to discuss your requested items and how you plan to use them. If we believe there are more suitable objects in the collection or if one of the objects isn’t available, we will contact you to examine other options.

Next, we will discuss transportation arrangements with you. Large objects, such as a sizeable model or luggage trolley, require an insured driver and truck with a hydraulic lift. Transportation requirements will differ for each item, of course, but do not expect to transport objects in a private vehicle unless they are very small.

If you are eligible to have your transportation paid for (if funds are available), we will ask you to provide related details to our heritage and collections manager and CEO for their assessment and approval.

Our collections officer will travel to our offsite storage facilities to condition check and prepare objects for transport once your object list is finalised.

On the scheduled date, our collections officer will travel to the storage facility to meet the transportation truck and securely send the object on its way.

Finally, a member of the heritage and collections team will likely be present when the loaned object(s) arrive to assist with installation. This is not always possible, but we’ll discuss options with you on a per-item basis.

Who do I contact for more information?


Please email for more information.