Railfest 2012: Thanks to those who kept Britain’s biggest rail celebration on track

This is one of a series of blog posts we’re bringing you during our huge 9-day Railfest 2012 festival in June 2012. More blog posts about Railfest 2012


Steve Davies, Director of the National Railway Museum, writes:

Steve Davies, Director of the National Railway Museum preparing for the opening of Railfest.

Bringing together Britain’s biggest rail celebration is no easy task, and the real stars of Railfest are not just the stellar line-up of record breakers – it’s the museum’s staff and volunteers behind the scenes.

It takes more than 200 volunteers to help put an event like Railfest on the rails. One of the many volunteers that offered his time and expertise is Gordon Reed, the UK’s oldest working boilersmith at 78. Gordon has been volunteering his time to the National Railway Museum for 25 years, and his unique contribution was preparing 109-year-old locomotive City of Truro to haul steam rides during the event.

Volunteer Boilersmith Gordon Reed (78) on board City of Truro preparing it for the opening of Railfest.

There have been many ‘Gordons’ at the National Railway Museum manning cabs and prepping locos. Now we have reached the final day of the event, my thanks must go to all of those who have helped keep Britain’s biggest rail celebration on track, whether they are National Railway Museum staff, volunteers, the leading rail magazine titles – RAIL, Steam Railway and Model Rail – or the countless other organisations who have made it all possible.

Explainer and Fireman Laura Hester (34) on board City of Truro preparing it for the opening of Railfest.

Thanks to the tireless efforts of hundreds of hardworking and passionate people, Railfest 2012 is the biggest rail celebration the country has ever seen.

Engineer and Trustee Alan Middleton with Furness No.20 (the oldest working standard gauge loco in the UK), preparing it for the opening of Railfest.

With Railfest 2012 coming to a close, we are already looking forward to our next big event. Mallard 75 will mark the 75th anniversary of Mallard’s world record with a series of commemorative events. We’re hoping this will include reuniting Mallard with the other five remaining A4 class locomotives.

We’re in discussions with two museums overseas, hoping that the two A4s currently outside the UK – Dominion of Canada and Dwight D Eisenhower – will be temporarily repatriated from Canada and the US. Keep an eye on the main museum website where we will be making further announcements about our plans for celebratory events throughout the year.

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About Mark Green, Web Producer, National Railway Museum

Mark Green is Web Producer for the National Railway Museum, and former Web Content Coordinator for the National Media Museum.
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One Response to Railfest 2012: Thanks to those who kept Britain’s biggest rail celebration on track

  1. Greg. Tingey says:

    The actual display of locomotives and carriages was excellent.
    I was dissapointed in the “sales” stalls – far too much model railways, and not enough books and ephemera and objects.
    Whoever cackhandedly misdesigned the so-called lay-out of the exhibition should be forced to walk it, all of it.
    I found myself walking at least three times as far as I needed to, to get to various exhibits, and the “plan” shown, and actual layout on the ground seemed to bear very little realtionaship to each other.
    The tracks & exhibits were in the right place, but what are these “paths” for access, of which it speaks? Spoling a ship for a hap’orth a tar is the expression!
    BoB memorial flight was seriously impressive, though.

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