Full Steam Ahead: Burton Automotive Hunter Valley Steamfest 2024 Promises Historic Locomotives and Classic Car Show

The Burton Automotive Hunter Valley Steamfest is gearing up for an exhilarating weekend dedicated to the glory of steam power, set to take place in Maitland on 13 and 14 April 2024. Celebrating its 36th anniversary, the festival promises a dream weekend for enthusiasts of historic locomotives and classic cars alike.

This year’s spectacle is expected to draw thousands of visitors, showcasing New South Wales’ largest and most powerful steam locomotive, the 6029 ‘The Garratt’, alongside the 1917-built 3526 at Maitland Station. The event will feature an array of steam and heritage train excursions, the highly anticipated Great Train Race, an impressive antique machinery display, and a gathering of more than 500 classic cars at the Rally Ground.

Maitland’s Burton Automotive, continuing its twelfth consecutive year as the festival’s title partner, has been a steadfast supporter of the Hunter Valley Steamfest. Norm Burton OAM, Dealer Principal of Burton Automotive, expressed his pride in being part of the event. “Steam trains and Maitland are integral to my life and history. It’s always a joy to see the wonder on children’s faces as they witness the marvel of steam trains, much like I did as a youngster,” Mr. Burton shared.

The Steamfest’s Rail Program, presented by the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC), will offer visitors a chance to embark on various rail excursions throughout the Hunter Valley, including trips to Paterson, Branxton, Newcastle, Mount Thorley, and the Port Waratah Coal Loop. One of the festival’s highlights, the ARTC Great Train Race, will feature a thrilling competition between the iconic locomotives and a Tiger Moth aircraft.

Clinton Crump, Acting Hunter Valley Group Executive of ARTC, expressed enthusiasm for the event. “Hunter Valley Steamfest is a major event for our region, celebrating our rich rail and steam heritage. We’re thrilled to be the Principal Rail Sponsor and host the famous Great Train Race,” he said.

The Rally Ground, sponsored by the Bloomfield Group, will offer a nostalgic look back in time with its display of antique machinery from across Australia, including traction and portable engines. Brad Donoghoe, Bloomfield Mine Operations Manager, highlighted the company’s longstanding connection to the Maitland community and its excitement to sponsor the historical event.

Concluding the weekend festivities, the annual Show ‘n’ Shine, presented by Altapac on Sunday, will showcase over 500 classic cars. Alongside the stunning display, attendees can enjoy food stalls and live entertainment, making for a memorable family day out. “At Altapac, we aim to bring families together for unforgettable experiences. The Show ‘n’ Shine is the perfect occasion for that,” said Tom Lacey, Altapac General Manager.

Tickets for the Burton Automotive Hunter Valley Steamfest Rail Program, presented by ARTC, will go on sale at 12.00pm AEDT on Tuesday, 12 March. For more information, enthusiasts and interested attendees are encouraged to visit www.steamfest.com.au, ensuring they don’t miss out on this remarkable celebration of steam and heritage in the Hunter Valley.


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