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Image of historically significant documents found in the Yarloop railway workshops vault.

​​Archives survive Yarloop bushfir​​e

24 August 2017

Historical documents relating to the town of Yarloop have emerged from the ashes, thanks to the Yarloop railway workshops vault. 

The Shire of Harvey was finally able to open the historic vault in mid-August 2017, which was the first time it had become accessible since the devastating January 2016 bushfire. The vault had been inaccessible until recently due to asbestos contamination concerns and the site being under the control of the State appointed contractor. 

Upon opening the vault, most of the documents were found to be intact. The fire proof vault contained historical records, books and photographs dating back in some instances to the late 1800s. 

The Yarloop Workshops Committee in conjunction with the shire will now spend the following months examining the documents, which have unfortunately been impacted by mould and recent water damage due to heavy rain during the period when the site was inaccessible. 

As part of the recovery efforts at Yarloop, the task of remediating the railway workshops was considered to be very challenging because of the extensive asbestos contamination – a legacy of the historical industrial use of the site. 

Following the extensive clean-up efforts, the railway workshops (which have been a part of the Yarloop community since 1895) were handed back to the shire and community on 11 August 2017. 

Gaining access to the vault was delayed due to asbestos contamination concerns at the site.   ​​​​