Steve Davies, Director of the National Railway Museum, writes:
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.
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.
Thanks to the tireless efforts of hundreds of hardworking and passionate people, Railfest 2012 is the biggest rail celebration the country has ever seen.
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.