Countdown to 2024 steam festival in Thirlmere

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The countdown has started to this year’s Thirlmere Festival of Steam on the weekend of May 18-19.

Visitors can look forward to steam train rides aboard the state’s operational heritage fleet, demonstrations from local artisans and the colourful annual street parade.

The festival will continue after sunset on Saturday, May 18, with a steam train ride behind locomotives 3265 and 3001 from Thirlmere Station towards Picton and return, as well as carnival rides, live entertainment, and a fireworks display at 9pm to top off the evening.

NSW Rail Museum will host a variety of steam train rides, driver’s cab visits, a steam and vintage park, mini-train rides and more.

Thirlmere Sportsground will feature the Family Carnival, with rides and other activities on offer from midday until 9pm.

On Sunday, the whole village will come to life with market stalls, a street parade including Ingleburn Pipes and Drums, live performances, as well as steam rides and activities at the NSW Rail Museum.

Festivities in Thirlmere village will stretch to another week, with the iconic Huff n’ Puff race scheduled for Sunday, May 26.

This is where runners take on a historic steam engine.

Participants will run a 6.7km route from Buxton Station to Thirlmere Station, or alternatively participants of all ages can take part in the 3.5km Family Fun Run from Couridjah Station to Thirlmere Station.

Entries are now open for this event.

The steam festival will once again be delivered by Wollondilly Shire Council in partnership with Transport Heritage NSW, operators of the NSW Rail Museum.

“We’re proud to be able to host the state’s premier steam event and one of the shire’s favourite celebrations here in Wollondilly once again in 2024, and I look forward to seeing everyone get on board to take part in the fun,” said Wollondilly Mayor Matt Gould.

Transport Heritage NSW CEO Andrew Moritz said the Festival of Steam continues to go from strength to strength.

“Record numbers of people have visited the NSW Rail Museum for the event since the start of our new partnership in 2022 and we expect this to continue this year,” he said.

To find out more about the event and book tickets for the day or night train rides, visit

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