December 18 2014 Latest news:
Sunday, April 6, 2014
Some impressive powerhouses of the nation’s railway heritage carried passengers along a restored Norfolk line as it celebrated its Spring Diesel Gala this weekend.
The Mid Norfolk Railway (MNR) ran an intensive timetable throughout Friday, Saturday and Sunday for its annual event, with more than 1,000 people travelling in the carriages along the line, between Dereham and Wymondham.
Many more onlookers took photographs from platforms, bridges and crossings.
Visiting locomotives included Class 40 and Class 31 engines, but one of the most popular attractions was the Class 50 No. 50007, recently repainted into BR Blue and reverting to its original name of “Hercules”.
Derek Orr, commercial manager for the MNR, said: “It has been a really brilliant weekend for everybody.
“We ran 40 trains during the three days, which is significantly more than usual at this time of year, when we would normally run three trains a day.
“So it has been a lot of extra trains and a lot of extra work for the volunteers. But that’s how we raise funds to invest in the development of the railway, to make it a better attraction for people to come to the area.”
The MNR uses gala events like this to raise funds for its future development ambitions, including the building of a £90,000 maintenance shed, putting up a salvaged footbridge to link its two main platforms and developing a visitor centre at Dereham station.
The line’s recent progress and growing status brought it a prestigious national accolade last year when it won the Heritage Railway of the Year Award – with a commemorative plaque due to be unveiled at Dereham Station later this month.
During the Easter school holidays, children can travel for free on the MNR if accompanied by a paying adult on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays.
For full timetables, see www.mnr.org.uk.