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Thousands visit Thirlmere Festival of Steam

The Thirlmere Festival of Steam made its long-awaited return on Saturday 25 & Sunday 26 June.

Following a three-year absence, Wollondilly Shire Council and Transport Heritage NSW (THNSW) partnered to deliver this year’s event, with more locomotives and static engines in steam than ever before.

On Saturday 25 June visitors enjoyed steam train rides at the NSW Rail Museum, as well as a range of amusement rides and activities outside the Museum’s gates organised by Council.

On Sunday 26 June, it was double the fun with market stalls, live performances, a vintage car display, street parade and all the activities at the NSW Rail Museum.

The event certainly did not disappoint, with the entire THNSW operational steam fleet in operation, including locomotives 2705, 3265, 3526, 3642, 3801 and 6029, as well as coal grab 1064.

While most of the locomotives were involved in hauling up to 22 shuttle journeys from Thirlmere to Picton or Buxton and return, locomotive 2705 stood proudly in steam at the Museum’s amphitheatre for cab visits while coal grab 1064 steamed its way up and down Thirlmere yard to the pleasure of spectators.

A record 8,500 people visited the NSW Rail Museum in just two days – beating previous Festival results by the thousands and many more people participated in all the Festival activities outside the Museum.

A big thank you to our volunteers and staff

Major events like these rely on the commitment and passion of our people, particularly our volunteers who worked some 1,400 hours across 155 shifts in just two days.

Strong positive response from visitors

  • Just some of the comments on social media from visitors to the event:

  • A fabulous day at Thirlmere. A huge shout-out to all the volunteers who made this event so successful!

  • Wonderful a local, loved seeing so many people about enjoying the day out.

  • The most amazing day! Thank you to all the team and volunteers for keeping these magical machines alive and well! The sound of these engines and whistles never gets it

  • A small country town buzzing with people, excitement, steam trains galore, rides, fun, laughter, food. Was just so magical to actually see life buzzing again. Was truly a great family day out. 

  • Fantastic day, it was a long drive coming from Victoria to NSW but it was definitely worth it

  • What a great event well planned.

  • As a Thirlmere resident all I could hear was loud steam train whistle’s all weekend. We had people parked all around in there cars and it was difficult to get out of our suburb but how fantastic was it. So GREAT for the museum, the community, and so many happy smiling faces.

  • Great day. Excellent weather. Staff and volunteers did an excellent job.


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