THOUSANDS of people are expected to attend a major event celebrating the region’s industrial engineering heritage this weekend.

Five historical steam locomotives, all built in the same part of Newcastle, are being brought together at Tanfield Railway, near Stanley.

The Legends of Industry Gala is the biggest event on the tourist attraction’s calendar and attracts crowds of families as well as transport enthusiasts.

Vintage machines in action include the oldest working locomotive built in Newcastle and an example of the last steam engine design built in the city.

David Watchman, director of Tanfield Railway, which can trace its roots back to 1725, and is the world’s oldest railway, said: “It’s almost 195 years since the first steam locomotives were built in Forth Banks and looking at the city now it’s hard to believe that literally thousands of engines were constructed there and dispatched to every corner of the globe.

“With this event we want to pay tribute to the hard work of generations of Tyneside engineers and celebrate the huge contribution that these locomotives made to industries and communities everywhere.”

Home to the world’s first locomotive building factory, over 6,000 locomotives were built in Forth Banks from 1823 to 1960 by famous firms including Robert Stephenson and Hawthorn Leslie.

Star guest at the gala is the 1950 built Stewarts and Lloyds No. 62, currently the most powerful working Newcastle-built locomotive in Britain.

Mr Watchman said: “We want to help younger generations understand what made the North-East great and how their forefathers changed the world.”

Passenger and demonstration freight trains will be running on both Saturday and Sunday from around 9.45am.