Four-day festival celebrating 100 years of railways

THE Smoke on the Water Festival will take place at the end of this month to commemorate the arrival of rail in Australia on August 30, 1915.

The festival, run by the Coffs Harbour Centenary of Rail, takes place over four days from Friday, August 28, to Monday, August 31, displaying a variety of vintage transport machinery as well as offering half-an-hour joy rides in historic DC-3 aircraft flown up from Victoria.

Festival-goers will also have the rare opportunity to embark on a journey in a beautifully restored authentic 5917 engine train transported to the region by Lachlan Valley Railway.

The train will make trips up to Coramba or Nana Glen, or down across the creeks to Raleigh.

Steam trains will also be embarking on round trips starting at the Coffs Harbour Railway station to Casino and Grafton as well as a round trip from Grafton to Casino.

Coffs Harbour Centenary of Rail Committee chairman Neil Manson is delighted locals can experience a journey in the historic train.

"We are very lucky to have such an important piece of Australian history coming to our festival," he said.

"The role of transport, and particularly the railways, cannot be overstated in the early development and opening up of Australia, and a genuine piece of living history like 5917 is a constant reminder of that."

For model train enthusiasts and collectors, a model train display and rail swap meet will also take place.

To book your tickets visit online.

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