WORLD FIRST QUAD RUN PLANNED FOR STEAMFEST 30TH ANNIVERSARY
The 30th anniversary of Maitland Toyota Hunter Valley Steamfest will feature an attempted world first when four steam trains run side by side on parallel tracks from Waratah to Maitland in the Great Train Race Quad Run. To make the spectacle even more impressive the locomotives will also be racing Tiger Moth aeroplanes.
Council’s Coordinator Events Adam Franks says, ‘Over more than three decades many hundreds of thousands of people have come to Maitland from across the state, the country and the world to be a part of this iconic celebration of all things steam. For Steamfest’s 30th anniversary we have worked hard to develop an extraordinary program worthy of this important milestone.
‘This year Steamfest is going to be full of some amazing firsts. Not only are we going to be setting records with the Great Train Race, but we have a bigger line up of trains than in previous years. The highlight for steam aficionados will be 6029, a Garratt locomotive from the Australian Railway Historical Society in Canberra, coming to Steamfest for the first time’.
There are four steam locomotives and two vintage diesels coming to this year’s event. Travelling from Canberra will be 6029 (the Garratt), the largest operating steam locomotive in the southern hemisphere, accompanied by 3016. They will be joined by 3642 and 5917, which were two of the trains to attend the first ever Steamfest in 1986. The train line up is rounded out by crowd favourites 621 and 721 ‘Red Rattlers’, and CHP 1 and CHP 7 ‘Tin Hares’.
This year’s range of train journeys will include the Silver Screen Steamer, a themed evening to Dungog’s historic James Theatre, cocktails in premier class on The Singleton Sling, the popular Port Waratah Coal Loop Runs, the Barrington Bullet, round trips to Branxton and Paterson, and the Flip Fest Express kids’ train.
‘While steam is the heart of the event, there is heaps in store across the weekend to keep the whole family entertained. There will be a great festival vibe at Maitland Station and Rally Ground, and we are expecting lots of people to come out and join us in celebrating an incredible achievement for one of the Hunter’s premier events’, said Mr Franks.
Aside from the trains and journeys there will be an array of traction and portable engines, antique machinery, more than 600 cars on display at Sunday’s Show ‘n’ Shine, as well as entertainment across the weekend including, live music, kids’ activities, and more than 100 food and market stalls.
Tickets for Steamfest train journeys go on sale Monday 22 February at midday and can be purchased [color=#e29f2b]online[/color]. Locomotives, destinations and final timetable are subject to change without notice.