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Railfest: Railway celebration on track for success
ORGANISERS of Railfest – a nine day family festival expected to attract more than 65,000 people – are making the final preparations ahead of its launch on Saturday.
Railfest, which will be hosted in an outdoor area the size of 11 football pitches at the National Railway Museum (NRM), has been subject to “amazing” online interest and thousands of tickets have been sold, an NRM spokesman said.
About 40 per cent of the trains are now on site with many others arriving on under their own steam or being transported in on lorries over the coming days.
It will be the first Railfest since one in 2004,which attracted more than 60,000 visitors, but the NRM said there has been such a high level of interest they expect more than 65,000 people to attend.
A spokesman for the NRM said: “We are really excited about the start of Railfest on Saturday. There’s a fantastic buzz around the event with people travelling from all over the country and even as far afield as Australia to attend.
“There’s plenty going on for people of all ages with cab access, train rides, live theatre, a spectacular opening ceremony and even a Chuggington activity area. It’s the biggest event in York this Jubilee weekend, so bring all the family along and be part of the action.”
Ahead of the event, children from Sand Hutton Primary School threw a party to mark the 100th birthday of Synolda, which began its life on the Sand Hutton Miniature Railway and is due to be featured at Railfest.
The theme of Railfest is record breakers and the event will include Flying Scotsman, the first passenger train to travel at 100mph, and Mallard, the fastest steam engine at 126mph.
There will also be the Brighton Belle brake car, the world’s first electric Pullman, and the Peckett Number 2150 Mardy Monster, the country’s most powerful industrial steam loco.
As well as the trains, the event promises to have big screens, live shows, music and rides.
Meanwhile, 17 York pubs will be selling Flying Scotsman beer to coincide with the festival to form a “rail ale trail” and there will be a band and beer marquee at the event.
Pubs on the rail ale trail include the York Tap, The Ackhorne, The Bluebell and the Golden Ball.
The Caledonian Pipe Band will also be in attendance at the festival on June 9 and will tour York, Tickets to Railfest cost £13 for adults, £8 for children aged two to 15 years and are available online and on the door.
For more information or to buy tickets, visit nrm.org.uk