It's full steam ahead with tickets ready to be choo-choo-chosen for this year's Hunter Valley Steamfest.
The widely popular rail festival is on track with a full program, and will return to Maitland Rally Ground on April 13 and 14.
Maitland City Council’s events coordinator Adam Franks said the festival was council's largest and most successful event.
"Each year visitors travel to Maitland from all across Australia and abroad to celebrate Burton Automotive Hunter Valley Steamfest and take a ride on one of the locomotives at the event," he said said.
"With a limited number of seats available for each journey we encourage people to purchase their tickets early to avoid disappointment."
This year’s steam journeys include trips to Branxton, Paterson, the Port Waratah Coal Loop and Newcastle, where, for the first time since major developments were completed, a steam locomotive, 3526, will travel to the Newcastle Interchange.
In addition to steam locomotive trips, heritage diesel trains, CPH 1, 3 and 7 and NPF 621 and NTC 721 affectionately known as the Tin Hare and Red Rattler will run trips to Paterson and Saxon Vale on the Mt Thorley line.
Mr Franks said the event last year was a huge success with over 60,000 people attending over the weekend.
"We are expecting the similar numbers. Year on year, it seems to regain interest and capture people's imagination," he said.
"We have a few exciting additions to the program, which is really cool. For the first time, we will have a steam locomotive go from Maitland to the Newcastle Interchange.
"It's the first time that there's been a steam engine in there so it's a really exciting part of our program."
Hunter Valley Steamfest will also feature a diverse program of family friendly entertainment throughout the Maitland Station precinct including market stalls, face painting, live music and kids amusements.
Tickets will be available from 12pm on Friday (February 15) at steamfest.com.au, by calling 4931 2877 or in person at the Maitland Visitor Information Centre.