YOUNG and old queued at Newcastle station with equal enthusiasm for a chance to travel back to a more graceful but sootier era.
Once seated inside the vintage timber and metal carriages they were hauled by the mighty steam locomotives 3237 and 5917 to Port Waratah and back.
The steam-powered fun continues next Saturday when locomotive 3237 will travel the same route as the last steam-hauled mainline passenger service in NSW between Newcastle and Singleton.
Locomotives 3237 and 5917 will celebrate 85 years of Newcastle-Sydney express passenger services next Sunday.
The Northern Commercial Limited will depart Newcastle station for Sydney at 9am.
The trains’ owners Lachlan Valley Railway have been negotiating for the past two years to base the locomotives at Broadmeadow as part of heritage rail centre.
The site was granted to Transport Heritage NSW, which manages the site.
‘‘The whole project will be funded by the combined groups giving Newcastle a world-class working railway museum,’’ Hunter Valley Railway Workshops and Museum managing director Michael Muter said.