STEAM on the Dock – one of the UK’s only inner-city steam rallies – returns to Albert Dock Liverpool this weekend – with over 30 steam engines, boats and even a train making the Dock their home on May 6-7 – that’s double the amount that visited in 2016. So what’s new for 2017? Steam tug Kerne – a stunning, Titanic-era steamship – makes her Steam on the Dock debut. Built in 1912, Kerne has a long history with Liverpool, in 1971 becoming the last coal-fired steamer to work on the Mersey. Since then she has been saved from scrap and preserved as an operational steamship, and is now the last remaining Naval, coal-fired steamship to have seen service in two world wars, still in operation today. At 1pm and 3pm both days, visitors will be treated to a steam showcase around Salthouse Dock, which will include a cavalcade of steam engines, traditional brewer’s dray cart and shire horses, and a marching band (1pm only). This year’s festival will also welcome even more land-based engines and miniatures to the Dock than ever before, a variety of classic steam narrowboats courtesy of the Steam Boat Association, and a historic fairground organ. And Mattel Play! Liverpool will be joining in on the celebration, with free story times with none other than The Fat Controller inside the attraction on The Colonnades, with special performances from his mischievous sidekicks, Rusty and Dusty. Back on dry land, Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways will be returning, bringing along Palmerston, a fully operational steam train, which will shuttle visitors up and down a track for a ride along Hartley Quay. Built in 1864, the Palmerston was also once deemed beyond repair, but thanks to a team of devotees and a long restoration, re-entered service in 1993, and promises to delight visitors to Steam on the Dock. Also returning in 2017 will be The Daniel “Danny” Adamson – a highlight last year and again throwing open her decks for the public to explore. Also in attendance will be Roger Dibnah – the son of the late, great TV legend and steam enthusiast, Fred Dibnah. There will also be a host of events and activities at Merseyside Maritime Museum, including face-painting fun for all the family on May 7 (12-4pm). Clare Rawlinson, marketing manager, Albert Dock Liverpool, said: “Almost 65,000 visitors attended Steam on the Dock last year – which was a massive success for Albert Dock Liverpool, particularly as it was a completely new event. It is with great excitement that we can announce this year’s programme with more steam engines than last year. It is clear that the Liverpool audience and steam community has taken Steam on the Dock to their hearts. “Whether you’re bringing little boys and girls who love tooting trains and boats, or you’re a life-long steam buff who has a passion for engines from a bygone age, you’re in for a treat! A lot of these engines have faced the scrapyard during their lifetime, so it’s a unique opportunity to have them all here at the Dock for our visitors to see up close and looking and working like they did in their glory days.” Mersey Ferries will also be running a day of special River Explorer Cruises from 10am to 5pm on the Saturday only as part of Steam on the Dock. Step aboard and be entertained by storytellers for a unique ‘Tales from the Docks – A History of Steam in Liverpool’ cruise experience. Normal River Explorer Cruise pricing applies with discounts for advanced online bookings. Tickets can also be purchased on the day.