When we think about special events, it's easy to rely on cliches such as " Fun for all the family" or "A chance for the real enthusiast to get up close.".
But you know, it's true. Because the people who staff steam centres are themselves enthusiasts, they know what makes a great event. Fun, yes. For the family, absolutely - what good is a special day without being inundated by wide-eyed children? For those who remember living railways from their childhood, a chance to relive those memories.
For everyone, the opportunity to see these great machines coming to life. Maybe, when they are being readied for the special day, the engines and rolling stock will themselves be feeling all the better for having their paintwork freshly polished. After all, you know how much better your car feels after it's been washed?
So, as the day gets under way and the crowds start to gather, everyone becomes a little bit excited. Keen to see the engines approaching, to hear the unique sounds and smell that unmistakable aroma of age. All anxious to get aboard and experience that irresistible feeling of not just looking at part of our industrial heritage, but being part of it.