Thirlmere Festival of Steam 2015

Yesterday I drove Nick to the Thirlmere Festival of Steam. I had kept it a secret for a good two months or so. I know Nick loves steam trains so I bought tickets and secretly hoped he hadn’t been before. I guess I know him well enough to know that he hadn’t. I was excited to take him there, because in my heart I knew he would love it, and since he had kept a few things a surprise for me, I did the same here.

He said it was a very romantic thing to do (my inner soul is giggling like a little girl right now), from my point of view it was probably one of the nicest things I’ve done for someone. It’s a little bit special too. I know not everyone likes surprises but I wanted to make this event a surprise, so I just asked him to keep the date free.

I threw a few clues here and there, including a really cryptic one where I said, “This restaurant is a clue” when we were in a Japanese sushi restaurant with a sushi train. It wasn’t until the day before that he asked, “Is it something in the restaurant that is to do with what is happening tomorrow?” He finally figured out that the restaurants I announced as clues had sushi trains in them… along with a few other clues like the fact that he has participated in the activity (riding on a steam train) and I have not, and the laughable “you’ll be blown away”, he did successfully figure it out beforehand. Needless to say, he was very excited when I revealed more of the details.

On the day I drove down to Thirlmere; it’s a pretty rural town. Trying to find a place to park was not difficult but it took some time because some of the streets were closed and there were lots of cars parked around the festival grounds. We boarded the steam train as soon as we got there. Lucky I booked the 12pm train because we had a little sleep-in that morning and arrived just in time.

3016 locomotive from Canberra Railway Museum
3016 locomotive from Canberra Railway Museum
Nick testing his wide lens
Nick testing his wide lens

It was a very hot day even though the forecast was thunderstorms – which came later in the afternoon. The steam train ride was quite fun, and the views weren’t too bad. We didn’t get to disembark, but the train stopped for us and we got to take photos of a locomotive coming down in the opposite direction. The whole trip out and back took about an hour.

Me and Nick on the steam train
Me and Nick on the steam train

Nick and I walked through the streets watching some of the parade and looking at the stalls. We looked at some model railways (which weren’t that great and were kind of boring), then we went to the Tratinworks museum which had a number of old trains on display. There were also some vintage buses, helicopters and some amusement rides but we spent most of our time in the museum taking photos of the trains.

Display inside Trainworks
Display inside Trainworks
Luggage van. #art
Luggage van. #art
2nd... carriage?
2nd… carriage?
Me, next to a dining train carriage
Me, next to a dining train carriage
Standing on the side of said dining carriage
Standing on the side of said dining carriage
Ancient train timetable display
Ancient train timetable display
Nick taking a photo of the train on the turntable
Nick taking a photo of the train on the turntable
Train carriage on turntable
Train carriage on turntable
Inside of a train
Inside of a train
^_^
😊

You could walk through some of the trains too, which was really interesting and intriguing. We saw a train on the turntable, which was pretty amazing because I was always so amazed by those things in toy train sets as a child.

We got to check out a cabin of a steam train and it had just started to rain very heavily at that point. We took cover there for a bit, and Nick was allowed to blow the whistle (I died when I saw the grin on his face) before we ducked out of the rain and sat in the museum for a bit.

Inside the Trainworks museum
Inside the Trainworks museum
Cabin travelling away in the rain
Cabin travelling away in the rain

My feet were covered in soot, it was quite funny. As soon as the rain died down the sun came out nice and bright and we walked back to the car. We had trouble finding and deciding on a place for dinner, so we ended up at Sizzler again, and Nick said he was secretly excited. Hahahaha.

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It’s sweet of you to take Nick out to watch trains! Even more that he loves steam trains and never went to this festival before. There were a lot of trains there! I’m so used to seeing one train at a time (or two at max when they cross each other). Glad to hear you both enjoyed the date even though it rained a bit 😄.

This was such a thoughtful and sweet idea, Georgie! I’ve always been fascinated by trains, but we don’t have anything close to where I live that is anything like this. I would love to visit this little place some time in my travels. I’m glad you both had a lovely time. 😛

I love surprises (most of the time — and when I’m in the right mood). I honestly would love to see old trains from the Western time era like Wyatt Earp. 🙂. I think college is transforming my mind, in a good way!

I honestly, think that my father would love an event like this. He’s a train junkie (nothing like Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory), but he does get a high from watching a steam train go by. I wish something like this would happen in California. I think he would definitely love it!

I think what you did was very thoughtful, and considerate. You seem very happy with Nick. Just out of curiosity, you wouldn’t happen to be wearing leggings under that dress? I think that leggins would look good on you and under the dress.

That’s so cute! You two look like an adorable little nerdy couple. 👏 😅

I’ve always wanted to ride on a train in the past, but they’re just not that popular here riding-wise. The trains we have are usually for shipping purposes or something. I enjoy playing with model and toy trains, though. c:

Niiice! I think this is a wonderful surprise for Nicholas 😄 I’m not a big train person, but after seeing your photos, I think I’d like to know more about them. The trains so remind me of Hogwarts Express, and your photo also reminded me about the Hogwarts Express replica I saw at Universal Studios Japan 😄 The train also reminds me of the Professor Layton game, of which I remember being on a train for a good chunk of the second one.

But yes, there is just something about the vintage trains that just makes me imagine the olden days. I’d also have got a kick out of looking at the vintage buses and helicopters 😄

Thanks for sharing your adventures here. It looks fabulous!

TRAINS! Trains! Trains are awesome. :3 Glad you and Nick had a good time, and I bet he enjoyed it too. Trains remind me of the old days (not that I was alive in the old days lol) but they certainly have a history and used to be dangerous to ride in. Did you know that trains killed a child of an American President? I believe it was Pierce. He saw his last child killed, which is sad, but the point being, that trains certainly have a history. Plus, you can’t forget the railways and such. Still trains are interesting!