Firing up a head of heritage steam

THE golden age of steam will chug into Tamworth at the end of this month, offering a ride back in time.

Heritage Express spokesman David Bennett said this was the first time in nearly 20 years a steam train had been to Tamworth.

TIME TRAVELLER: The Heritage Express will whoosh into Tamworth on Saturday for return trips to Kootingal. Photo: Trent Nicholson

TIME TRAVELLER: The Heritage Express will whoosh into Tamworth on Saturday for return trips to Kootingal. Photo: Trent Nicholson

“This is a rare opportunity for Tamworth,” he said.

Mr Bennett said the beauty of the Heritage Express was the look back in time it offered all ages.

“I think it’s the nostalgic nature of them and the unique difference between a normal train and a steam train,” he said.

“For young people it will be fascinating because it’s great to see how people were transported. This one went out of service in the late 1960s and it was very hot work for the crew.” 

The engine first ran in 1926 and it will be joined by heritage carriages, with shuttles to Kootingal from Tamworth running this weekend.

There will be four trips each day, with bookings now being taken, with one trip already sold out.

“One of our main aims is to bring transport heritage out to regional towns. This is the first Transport Heritage In Your Town event,” Mr Bennett said.

“North West NSW is the theme for this one and we anticipate that we’ll be going to different places around the state.”

Mr Bennett said if the visit was a success this time, they would bring the steam train back to the region.

Before the train arrives in Tamworth, it will do a trip from Werris Creek to Narrabri on Friday with a bus for the return journey.

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