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Festival attracts over 8,100 to NSW Rail Museum


Watch a recap of the 2023 Thirlmere Festival of Steam


The 2023 Thirlmere Festival of Steam took place last weekend and was one of the biggest and best yet!


With over 8,100 visitors to the NSW Rail Museum in just two days, the annual event brought Thirlmere to life with the sights and sounds of steam locomotives, traction engines, steam machinery and more.


This is the second year Transport Heritage NSW has delivered the Festival in partnership with Wollondilly Shire Council and despite the hot weather, the strong visitor results continued for a second year in a row – less than nine months since the last event!


Watch 9 News coverage of the Thirlmere Festival of Steam


Across the two-day event:

  • 8,176 visited the NSW Rail Museum, including 6,111 on steam train rides alone.

  • Seven steam locomotives were in operation, including five THNSW locomotives, one visiting locomotive from The Picnic Train and one coal grab.

  • Four road-based steam engines were in attendance, including one from the Powerhouse Museum.

  • 306km worth of steam train rides were operated to both Picton and Buxton, with 23 departures from Thirlmere Station alone.

  • 134 volunteer shifts were worked.

Out of 340 visitors surveyed:

  • Over 90% were from outside the Wollondilly region.

  • 65% had never visited the Thirlmere Festival of Steam before.

  • Just under 90% say they will definitely visit the Thirlmere Festival of Steam again.


Congratulations to all THNSW volunteers and staff on yet another highly successful event.


You can enjoy a steam train ride EVERY weekend at the NSW Rail Museum, or one of our many premium heritage train experiences on the main line.


For more information, visit the THNSW events page.

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