Hunter Valley Steamfest 2014 was, once again, a great event for the Maitland area. The station platforms and rally grounds crowded with people, all there to take a step back in time and see how much steam power was involved in building our country. To watch, hear and feel the engines that transported not only the people but almost all of the good and produce between the cities and towns of Australia.
Great Train Race
An event of Hunter Valley Steamfest is the Great Train Race, that pits two steam engines and a tiger moth biplane in a race from Newcastle to Maitland. This year the race was between the 3642 and the 3268 locomotives, and I got to ride in the carriages pulled by the 3642. The journey begins when you board at Maitland and the trains are then taken down to Newcastle for the start of the race. Our train stopped at Broadmeadow station to wait for a few minutes until all was prepared for the start of the race. The 3268 had gone in to Newcastle station earlier.
The race began as we left Newcastle and the 3268 train pulled alongside. The two trains battled it out all the way to Maitland, with each one pulling past the other giving all the passengers a great view of the opposing train. It’s a great ride, with the smoke of the engine passing by as you power up the tracks.
Who won, you may ask, or perhaps surely it was the plane? Well it’s not really a race, but a great bit of fun ridding on those trains. The 3268 was awarded as the winner of the day though.
I got some great images from on the trains during the Great Train Race this year, so I didnt get the opportunity to capture some from any track side locations. I hope some photographers found my locations to shoot from to post useful.
The rally ground, as always, was a great location to find all sorts of interesting contraptions. They held the Penny Farthing race here on the Saturday, and have a continual stream of steam powered devices rolling around the outside of the grounds. You can spend quite a bit of time wandering around talking to the folks who have spent a great deal of time getting these engines in to working order.