Saturday 14 and Sunday 15 September, 10am – 5pm
The sounds and smells of the steam locomotive era will emanate from the STEAM Museum next weekend when the 12th Swindon Railway Festival gets underway.
Live steam traction engines from Hatch Heritage & Steam Engineers Ltd – as seen recently on the popular BBC programme Hairy Bikers’ Restoration Road Trip – will be on show outside the museum to welcome visitors.
Families and rail enthusiasts will be in for a model railway feast as they get to see over 20 model railway layouts (‘N’ to ‘O’ gauge) displayed throughout the museum.
Rail and pop celebrity Pete Waterman will be back with his models Just Like the Real Thing, alongside the dynamic teams of Hornby, Bachmann and Dapol who will be running their latest bits of kit on the test track at their special GWR Roadshows.
The roadshows give visitors the chance to see and test for themselves how exciting and satisfying it is to operate the controls of a model railway and to experience first-hand the intricate detail of the sets.
Thomas the Tank Engine and his friends will also be putting in an appearance with a special children’s interactive layout.
For the more serious and dedicated railway modellers, there are specialist demonstrations and the chance to have a go at model building, soldering and weathering.
Cllr Garry Perkins, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Economy, Regeneration and Culture said: “This year’s Swindon Railway Festival is set to be one of the best ever as families and rail enthusiasts gather to enjoy the wonderful world of railways. The model layouts at STEAM are among the best in the country and there is something for all generations to enjoy.”
Ian Surtees, from the STEAM Museum, said: “All in all, the Railway Festival is set to be a buzzing hub of activity as people of all ages and all walks of life come to celebrate railways from the past and present. I would urge anyone who has never been to the Festival to give it a try as the atmosphere is simply fantastic.”
Top railway traders will have displays throughout the museum, including all the railway giants and popular brands, alongside displays from preserved and volunteer run steam railways across the UK.
Visitors will also get to see a new special exhibition at STEAM entitled ‘Dr Richard Beeching: Hero or Villain?’ This small exhibition explores the work of Beeching and includes a photographic display of the lost but not forgotten GWR railway stations.
Collectors of GWR and Swindon memorabilia will also be interested in the exclusive STEAM Limited Edition items available at the festival, including the new 00 Gauge Hornby model of the famous Swindon-built steam locomotive, GWR Star Class No 4003 Lode Star.
The Festival’s popular GWR Country Barbecue will be underway for lunch in the outdoor Festival Marquee, together with a Real Ale Bar, courtesy of Box Steam Brewery.
Delicious hot and cold meals and snacks will also be served at both the Festival Café and the Platform One Café to keep everyone’s energy levels topped up.
Tickets are £10 for adults, £8.50 for seniors and £7.50 for children (under 3s free). There are also a range of family tickets. A ticket admitting two adults and one child is £25, while a family ticket for two adults and two children is £30.
Find out more about the Swindon Railway Festival at: www.steam-museum.org.uk or call the Museum on 01793 466646.