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April 21st 2018
Published: April 21st 2018
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09 Maitland Steam Fest09 Maitland Steam Fest09 Maitland Steam Fest

Garratt Locomotive in full soot mode! Looks dramaitic, b ut was this poor coal management or just how it always happened?
t is a long time since we posted a blog. We have mostly been at home due to family and medical issues, but have taken a three week break top visit family in NSW and then wander home to Brisbane along the mid north coast.

We stayed for a week at Birubi Bach, Anna Bay initially. This is a very popular destination with surfing, swimming, sand tobogganing and camel rides through the dunes. As it happened, we had a short but quite severe storm after sunset that partially destroyed our wind out awning having torn the vinyl roof. A mere 5 minutes of destruction that damaged our van, the one parked adjacent to us (more severely than ours) and ripped a large oak tree at the entrance to the caravan park in half blocking the road.

Our visit coincided with the annual Maitland Steam Fest. Steam powered machinery from miniature to full on industrial plant. This year, a Garratt steam locomotive was in operation taking passengers for journeys between three stations. For those not familiar with steam locomotives, the Garratt was a very powerful, having 8 driving axles compared with three or four for most conventional steam locomotives. The water tender is mounted forward of the boiler and has 4 driving axles, the coal tender was mounted behind the driving cab and also had 4 driving axles. When setting out with a full load of coal and water in the tender, traction was fantastic, but as the journey ended with water depleted and coal reduced, traction and power were drastically reduced. These locomotives (1920s and onward) were used world wide, Today about 200 still exist in varying states of disrepair, but only about 15 are actually operational. (2 in Australia)

The photos show why today we do not like steam locos for their sooty pollution. For me, it brought back nostalgic memories of several return train journys from my childhood where our family went by train form Invercargil to nChristchurch, and then onward for Wellington to Auckland (NZ) to visit grandparents.


Additional photos below
Photos: 15, Displayed: 15


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01 Birubi Beach01 Birubi Beach
01 Birubi Beach

Located on the coast a little south of Nelson Bay. Heavy seas were running when we arrived.
05 Nelson Bay05 Nelson Bay
05 Nelson Bay

Photos taken from Gan Gan lookout.
07 Maitland Steam Fest07 Maitland Steam Fest
07 Maitland Steam Fest

Miniature traction engine. Several of these plus a couple of the real thing taking passengers for rides.
08 Maitland Steam Fest08 Maitland Steam Fest
08 Maitland Steam Fest

Steam truck. Yes, there was a real 4 ton stream truck there too.
10 Maitland Steam Fest10 Maitland Steam Fest
10 Maitland Steam Fest

A cleaner image of steam!
11 Maitland Steam Fest11 Maitland Steam Fest
11 Maitland Steam Fest

A true historical vehicle that not many will have seen - the Stanley Steam Car.
12 ANZAC Memorial Walk12 ANZAC Memorial Walk
12 ANZAC Memorial Walk

Storm approaching!


24th April 2018
11 Maitland Steam Fest

This reminds me of a museum I visited 35 years ago
Not far from where my mother lives there is a steam vehicle museum. It is probably the best of its kind in Sweden and there are not many in the world that can claim to be bigger and/or better. I loved that museum and it gets far fewer visitors that it deserve. Sadly much because the local authorities don't promote it at all. They promote other attractions in the area but they make no effort at all to tell people that this museum exist. /Ake
28th April 2018
11 Maitland Steam Fest

Steam Fest
Sadly, it seems many of the younger generation don't have a great interest in older technology, including my own grandsons. The Steam Age was just finishing in New Zealand when I served my apprenticeship, but that experience is embedded in my psyche.
3rd May 2018

Glad to see you blogging again
We love trains... trains of all kinds. We would have enjoyed steam fest.
3rd May 2018

Steam Fest
On the Sunday they have a great train race between two steam locos towing 4 carriages. We didn't go for the Sunday but that would have been an interesting event. Did you ever see a Stanley Steam Car? I had heard about them. The fully working car was absolutely beautifully restored.

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