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  • Your Hunter Valley Magazine

Re-living the Romance of Train Travel

In these frustrating days of modern electric trains and light rail, it's difficult to recall the smell of coal smoke, the hiss of steam, and the sting of cinders flying into your eyes as you hung out a window. There was romance then.


Whether travelling for work or pleasure, being on a steam train was a daily experience.

Re-live the romance when steam train Artist John Bradley launches his latest book, titled Living Steam, at Morpeth Gallery over the weekend of 12 and 13 March. John will be in the gallery signing copies and working at his easel, painting his next iconic train painting.

"This is an epic book about the steam locomotives of Australia from the earliest days. It is a picture book as well as a reference book, brimming with facts, figures, and information about where steam trains operated or still operate, with minute details which will fascinate the railway historian," says Gallery Director Trevor Richards OAM.

"The book features 35 colour plates of John's steam train paintings including some of the most famous of the steam trains ever to be built in Australia."

Artist John Bradley has been painting fabulous pictures of trains for 47 years. His passion for the bygone days has uncovered stories from drivers and gangers, stokers and guards, their families and everyone in between to tell the funny, dramatic, and hilarious times of a world long past, all narrated in the book.

Also over the weekend of 12–13 March, Morpeth Gallery will hold its annual Festival of Two Palettes exhibition, where you can meet and chat with 15 artists who will be in residence for the whole weekend.

Admire their creativity, purchase their artwork or merchandise and watch them paint at their easels. You can also tantalise your taste buds at Morpeth Gourmet Foods with tastings of gourmet foods, fudge, cordial and honey.

The book covers the great express trains hauled by steam locomotives over the decades: Puffing Billy, The Ghan, 3801 and the rare Garratt engine. If you are passionate about steam locomotives or know someone who is, then Living Steam is the perfect companion.

There are just 100 first edition copies of Living Steam available. Softcover, with over 100 pages, including 35 colour plates. Printed in Australia. $48 each plus $15 postage or pick up over the Festival of Two Palettes weekend (entry is free). Preorder your signed copy today from or visit the gallery from Thursdays to Sundays at 5 Green Street Morpeth.



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