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Our Steam Season opened with a spectacular three-day celebration of magnificent engines.

We celebrated the awe-inspiring power of steam and said farewell and welcome to some special engines. Our new guest locomotive, Robert Stephenson and Hawthorn's Eustace Forth, took to the rails for the summer, while Furness Railway No. 20 bid its final farewell before being withdrawn for overhaul. A supporting cast of steam transport vehicles was on outdoor display in light steam—some with cab access—creating an unforgettable atmosphere.

Inside the Collection Building, visitors could ignite their curiosity with steam era-themed model railways, giving a glimpse into the landscapes of the golden age of steam.

Same Difference's steampunk Sense-O-Matic street theatre performances created a range of sensory experiences, while our learning team hosted family activities, including a craft activity and a demonstration of the forces behind steam power. Steam train rides ran behind both Eustace Forth and Furness Railway No. 20.

As well as legends from the railways, we lined up a selection of road steam traction vehicles, including:

  • 2 x Sentinel steam lorries
  • Marshall traction engine
  • McLaren road locomotive
  • Fowler road locomotive (1902 – from Boer War)
  • Wallace traction engine
  • Steam roller
  • Stanley steam car
  • Shand Mason steam fire engine
  • Burrell showman’s engine

Locomotive rides and cab access