WHEN Bob Braidie saw an old locomotive shell in a railway yard he had just one thought – to transform it into a bar.
Mr Braidie runs Braidie’s Tavern in Strathfieldsaye and recently bought an 18-metre GM25 locomotive previously used by the Commonwealth Railways.
He paid $1000 for the 31.5 tonne shell and plans to spend more than $50,000 to transform it into a bar to put in the beer garden of his tavern.
“It has sat in the railway yard for two years and was going to be scrapped,” he said.
“I thought what if I could buy it, deck it out and turn it into a bar for the beer garden at the tavern. I think it is a pretty unique idea- nothing else has been done like this.”
Mr Braidie said he would restore the cab to its original state and install controls and seats.
He said the doors on one side would be removed and replaced on hinges so they could be opened up when the bar was operating.
He said the exterior would be painted maroon and silver – the original colours of the GM25.
Mr Braidie opened the tavern in 2004, after driving trains for about 49 years.
He said the hotel took on a rail theme because of a memorial in the main bar that remembered those rail men who lost their lives on the job.
“I had no intentions of doing a rail theme when I first started,” he said.
“But because I started it I had to keep going, so I got photos and pictures and have gone from there.”
Mr Braidie said he had enlisted the help of his sons-in-law to complete the project and hoped to have the bar up and running by Easter.
“The train drivers always wanted to drink on the job – well, they can come to the tavern and drink in the can and not be fined or sacked,” he said. “I think it will good, a bit of an icon – hopefully a tourist attraction.”