YORK is to host a huge railway celebration featuring some of Britain’s most famous train locomotives next summer.

Railfest 2012 will be run by the National Railway Museum from June 2 to 10 and will cover a space the size of 11 football pitches. Museum staff say there will be an “awe-inspiring line-up” of locomotives from the museum’s own collection and from elsewhere in the UK. There will also be a range of railway-related activities.

The festival will bring together more than 30 record-breaking locomotives including Mallard, which holds the record for the fastest steam locomotive, at 126mph; the recently built Tornado, and the most powerful industrial steam locomotive built for use in the UK, Mardy Monster. Flying Scotsman, the first locomotive to reach 100mph, is also set to attend the event following the completion of its restoration.

Steve Davies, museum director, said: “Our previous Railfest in 2004 celebrated the bicentenary of Britain’s railways and proved to be a huge success by attracting over 60,000 visitors. Next year we hope to top this by providing an even bigger and better event. We’re certain that rail fans young and old will be well catered for and we look forward to making 2012 a year to remember.”

The locomotives will be joined by a selection of railway vehicles including a sailing train and demonstrations from unusual railway equipment including snow ploughs and leaf blowers, which passengers rarely see.

Railfest will be a paid admission event and tickets are expected to go on sale in the New Year with a discount for advance bookings.

Confirmed locomotives include Mallard, Flying Scotsman, No.790 Hardwicke, City of Truro, Duchess of Hamilton with matching coach, Castle Donnington, Sir Nigel Gresley, Black Prince and Mardy Monster.