Railfest - Britain's biggest rail celebration and it's at the National Railway Museum in York
PUBLISHED: 23:22 05 June 2012 | UPDATED: 12:11 28 February 2013
Railfest is one of the biggest rail celebrations in Britain and we know you won't want to miss it
For information about Railfest events and tickets go to nrm.org.uk/railfest2012 or call 0870 870 4840, Ticket prices are 8 for children aged two-15 and 13 for adults. Family and group ticket offers are available too
The print version of this article appeared in the June 2012 issue of Yorkshire Life
We can deliver a copy direct to your door order online here
Everyone should save the dates June 2nd -10th to support Railfest 2012, one of the most ambitious events of its kind at the National Railway Museum in York. Its then an enormous space, the size of 11 football pitches, will be filled with one of the biggest collections of locomotives from across the UK. At least 30 of them will be record-breaking engines all of which have made their mark on rail history as either the fastest,
strongest, first, last and oldest of their kind. Among them is the Mallard, which holds the record for the fastest steam locomotive at 128mph, the Tornado which is newest mainline steam locomotive in operation and the Mardy Monster, the most powerful industrial steam locomotive built for use in the UK. The fully restored Flying Scotsman, the first loco to reach 100mph, is also set to be there.
A wide variety of railway- related activities, attractions, sights, sounds and smells will add to the exciting atmosphere with the chance to get close to the exhibits.
Meanwhile a record-breaking East Coast locomotive is to be named Battle of Britain Memorial Flight by TV star Carol Vorderman during the ceremony to launch Railfest. The locomotive, number 91110, achieved a UK national speed record for electric trains of 162.8 mph at Stoke Bank, north of Peterborough, in September 1989.
The loco will carry a specially designed livery featuring the planes and insignia of the Royal Airforce Battle of Britain Memorial Flight (RAF BBMF). Three of its iconic aircraft the Spitfire, Hurricane and Lancaster will fly overhead as Carol Voderman unveils the train in front of the thousands of visitors expected at the opening.
Its a privilege to be asked to name any train. But to be asked to unveil this particular East Coast locomotive is a deeply moving honour, said Ms Vorderman. Ive been a friend and supporter of the RAF BBMF for a long time and Im thrilled to be invited to carry out this important ceremony.
I am very much looking forward to being part of such a landmark event.
The Railfest also honours a dedicated volunteer, Gordon Reed, the UKs oldest working boilersmith at 78 years old. He has been volunteering at the National Railway Museum for 25 years and has worked on a huge number of famous locomotives including the Mallard, Flying Scotsman, Oliver Cromwell, Olton Hall and Duchess of Hamilton as well as the City of Truro which is his last big project for the NRM.
He said: I have a lifelong passion for railways and have loved every minute of volunteering for the National Railway Museum. Ive had the honour of working on some of the most famous locomotives in the world and helping with the continuous maintenance of the national collection.
It seems fitting that my last major project with the museum is the City of Truro as my first assignment as a volunteer was on this very engine. At the ripe old age of 78. I think it is about time I stop taking on such physically demanding projects or at least thats what my wife thinks.