It is with regret that Maitland City Council announces the postponement of Hunter Valley Steamfest until 30 and31 July 2022 as a result of recent and ongoing weather events.
‘After two years of COVID related cancellations and postponements, we didn’t foresee extreme weather forcing another postponement. We’re hugely disappointed to be making this announcement to our faithful steam community and excited patrons,’ says Rachel MacLucas, Executive Manager Vibrant City.
The recent wet weather has instigated a number of issues outside everyone’s control, starting with a significant embankment failure at Picton, south of Sydney, severely affecting the main tracks and branch line, isolating steam locomotives 3801 and 6029, which were two of the key attractions for this event.
ARTC has worked tirelessly to find a solution to the situation however, have now confirmed that the extensive works required to repair the heritage branch line can’t be completed in time for the delivery of the locomotives for Steamfest.
‘We’re extremely thankful to ARTC for their ongoing commitment to Steamfest. They’ve tried everything to resolve this in time, and we are very proud to have them as our rail partner for this event. We also want to thank Transport Heritage NSW for their support of Steamfest. We know they have exhausted all avenues to try and get to Maitland for the event and they share our disappointment with this decision’ said Ms MacLucas.
The recent wet weather has also impacted the ability to use two of the key sites that are integral to Steamfest, the Rally Ground, which features traction and portable engine displays, vintage machinery, ARTC display, maker and merchant markets and more as well as Maitland Park, home to the enormously popular Show ‘n’ Shine.
Council is committed to producing a quality event for our 35th anniversary of Steamfest. However, the unavailability of our locomotives and the recent wet weather impacting the grounds and set up of other popular program elements means that we can’t deliver the full Steamfest experience for our patrons at this time.’
‘We understand everyone will be disappointed because we are too. We are now looking to the future, and will continue planning with our naming rights partner, Burton Automotive, for a spectacular anniversary event on 30 and 31 July 2022,’ said Ms MacLucas.Ticket holders for trains will be contacted in the coming days with options to transfer their tickets to the rescheduled date or obtain a refund.