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Opening day of Railfest 2012
9:12am Saturday 2nd June 2012 in News
THE National Railway Museum’s Railfest extravaganza opened in style today, with famous locomotives arriving in York in time for the event, writes Grace Newton.
The biggest show in the museum’s history is set to attract over 65,000 rail enthusiasts and excitement is building at the Leeman Road site, where more than 50 locomotives – many of them record-breakers – will be on public display this weekend.
Music mogul and former Pop Idol judge Pete Waterman – a keen rail enthusiast who is a patron of the North York Moors Railway – was one of several VIP guests at the celebration of the UK’s rail heritage when he turned up for an advance viewing.
Yet it was the steam-powered arrivals that caused more of a stir, as train fans packed the precincts of York Station to witness the famous Tornado pull into the city.
The Tornado is the newest mainline steam locomotive currently running and was funded and built entirely by rail enthusiasts.
The midday arrival of iconic freight engine GB Railfreight Class 66/7 was also expected to prove a hit with onlookers.
But there was a more low-key entrance for one of the event’s biggest draws as the hugely popular Flying Scotsman – the first steam engine to reach speeds of 100mph – was transported by road on a low-loader. The engine is currently undergoing repairs at a workshop in Bury and cannot travel under its own steam.
Railfest will be open to the public from today until June 10. Admission to the outdoor area starts at £8 although entry to the museum itself remains free.
Visit nrm.org.uk/railfest2012 for more information.
• Nine lucky people won free entry to today’s opening day of Railfest, thanks to a competition on yorkpress.co.uk. The team behind the Flying Scotsman beer by Caledonian Brewery in Edinburgh donated tickets through twitter.