The 40th anniversary of the end of steam haulage of coal on South Maitland Railways will be celebrated on Sunday, June 4.
To mark the occasion, 10 Class Locomotives Limited and Maitland Rail Museum will welcome the community to the Telarah site for an open day.
On the day, the 1911 built SMR Number 10 train will be on static display in front of the Red Shed at East Greta Junction Telarah (Corner of Mt Dee and Junction streets).
Director of 10 Class Locomotives Warren Hedley said people who attend the open day will experience a rare opportunity of seeing the locomotive up close.
"They'll get the opportunity to walk on it, touch it, inspect it and take photos of it," Mr Hedley said.
"We're hoping to have two of the old drivers who used to drive it here on the open day and people will be able to learn some history from them."
Visitors can also explore significant local train and rail artefacts held at the Maitland Rail Museum. The open day will take place from 10am to 3pm.
Gold coin donations will be shared between 10 Class Locomotives Limited and the Museum, which will help to go towards returning 10 and 18 back to steam and the ongoing maintenance of the historic local rail Museum.
The steam locomotives haulage of coal operated for over 70 years in the Hunter Valley before ceasing operations on June 10, 1983.
Steam locomotives were central to the transport history of Hunter Valley coal and the development of Maitland.
Mr Hedley said the steam locomotives were certainly crucial to the broader Maitland area and the Coalfields.
"These were the only machines during the 70 year period that took coal out of the Coalfields," he said.
"It was the biggest operation in Australia at the time and they were the last steam locomotives to ever run commercially."
Mr Hedley said over the 70 years the locomotives would have done about one million miles (1.6 million kms).
"They would go from East Greta Junction at Telarah and would run as far as Bellbird," he said.
The 1911 built SMR Number 10 coal trains and sister loco No.18, are the only two fully intact 10 Class engines remaining from a fleet of 14, in serviceable condition.
Mr Hedley said the steam locomotives were originally constructed in England and were specifically designed for the South Maitland Railways.
"They've never run anywhere else. They were made for and purchased for this line and that's what they did," he said.
Mr Hedley said the open day is a great opportunity to see the steam locomotive up close and learn of its long history.
"This is something that people would rarely ever get to see," he said.
"There is also the opportunity to go through the local museum, which holds a lot of history not just about the locomotive but about the track and the area's relevance to railway."
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