The society is a not for profit organisation that was formed in WA in 1959. It has collected rail artifacts of all sizes for preservation, operates the rail transport museum, published books and journals on WA's rail history, produced displays and run rail tours using the Heritage train and the Vintage train. An RSVP Railway Museum group was established in 1991 to provide volunteers to restore locomotives and carriages and to staff the museum. The group devotes about 370 hours per week - more than any other RSVP group. In 2001 the volunteers completed restoring the Federation train which then travelled to Port Augusta and back to commemorate our interstate rail link.