South Maitland Railways will open up its East Greta Junction yard to visitors in commemoration of 100 years of incorporation and 125 years since the running of its first train.
The local railway was one of the last rail networks in Australia to continue to utilise steam locomotives until they were replaced in 1983 by diesel-electric trains.
Manager Warren Hedley said the anniversary event would also double as a fundraiser for the restoration of two locomotives.
“We are trying to recognise South Maitland Railways’ history but at the same time, raise money for the two locomotives,” he said.
“Although they are in running condition, they do need some serious upgrading.
“Then people may have the opportunity to see them on the track more often at events such as Steamfest.”
The proceeds from the event will go to the continued repair and running of the No.10 and No.18 steam locomotives – which are currently owned by HVTC.
On December 8 and 9, the community will be able to step back in time with a number of rides and locomotives on display.
People will not only have the opportunity to ride the historic No.18 steam locomotive and carriages between Maitland City Council Rally Ground and East Greta Junction, but can explore the cab of the 107-year-old No.10 steam locomotive and speak to retired drivers.
“It’s not only for rail buffs but we hope that local people who had relatives who worked on the trains or people who rode the train when they were younger,” Mr Hedley said.
“They will be able to relive some of their past life because there may not be another opportunity in the near future.”
People will also be able to catch a service from East Greta Junction Yard in Telarah to Abermain and Cessnock or take the dinner train to Neath on the CPH rail motor cars on Saturday night.
Every rail ticket purchase includes entry to South Maitland Railways’ East Greta Junction yard and Maitland Rail Museum.
The tickets can be purchased at maitlandticketing.com.au/community.