Steam festival set to rock Thirlmere once again

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The iconic huff n’ puff race will make a long-awaited return at the 2023 Thirlmere Festival of Steam.

The race, which sees humans take on the beautifully refurbished 3001 engine, is expected to be one of the highlights of the festival on March 18 and 19.

Wollondilly Shire Council and Transport Heritage NSW, operators of the NSW Rail Museum at Thirlmere, will deliver the festival.

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

In 2023 there will also be an expansion of the Saturday activities, an even bigger Family Carnival, local performers as well as the headline act Chris Sebastian, winner of The Voice 2020.

 “We’re proud to be able to host the State’s premier steam event here in Wollondilly once again,’’ says local mayor Matt Gould said.

“I hope that everyone can get on board to take part in the fun.”

Transport Heritage NSW CEO Andrew Moritz said there will be “at least six historic engines in steam throughout the weekend at the NSW Rail Museum in Thirlmere.

“This will include including Locomotive 3001; a 120-year-old steam locomotive that’s recently been restored by THNSW volunteers and staff.,’’ he said.

“In addition to steam train rides, visitors can enjoy cab visits, steam machinery, live steam models and more all weekend at the NSW Rail Museum.”

On Saturday, [March 18], the NSW Rail Museum will be open with a variety of steam train rides, driver’s cab visits, a steam and vintage park, mini-train rides and more.

The Family Carnival will take place at nearby Thirlmere Sportsground, with carnival rides and activities from midday.

On Sunday [March 19] 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 other activities at the NSW Rail Museum.

To find out more about the event and book tickets for the train rides, head to

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