On Friday 4th September, I visited the North Norfolk Railway for its’ annual Autumn Steam Gala, and what an event. Before it had even started, on the Thursday, two locomotives had to be withdrawn for the event. Black 5 45337 had leaky tubes and SR West Country Class 34007 Wadebridge had been stuck on the M3, not only due to the road works, but there was an accident which had ground the road to a halt, which left there being no choice but to send it back to the Mid-Hands Railway. However, the railway were still determined to put on a good show, and it was. With the home fleet consisting of LNER B12 8572, BR Standard 4MT 76084 and BR 9F 92203 Black Prince being joined by BR 9F 92214 and LNER B1 61306 Mayflower, which was briefly returning home after a year of tours on the mainline. The failed locomotives were replaced by Class 31 5631 and Class 37 D6732.
Despite all of the problems, the event went well. An intensive timetable was in use, and each of the stations were busy with trains entering and locomotives waiting for their next duty. Two 9Fs on the railway was a splendid surprise after the failure of N15 30777 Sir Lamiel, which had visited the line before. Having two massive freight locomotives on this small railway was a treat, and despite not seeing them doublehead, having both locomotives next to each other in country stations was certainly a treat for the eyes.
The main highlight was the return visit of Mayflower to the railway. As I was not able to attend last years’ Autumn Gala, due to being away in the United States of America, and despite the North Norfolk Railway being home to the locomotive since last year, this was the first time I had seen the locomotive operational. The previous time was at the railways 50th Anniversary since the closure of the original line. It was always a regular performer at the Nene Valley Railway, where I had first seen the locomotive back in 2006, and it has been a firm favourite since then.
Despite there being delays (when aren’t there at a NNR Steam Gala!) I have to hand it to the volunteers who made the event possible, and despite the setbacks, it was still a great visit they pulled out many surprises as well. Also, the fried breakfast in the buffet car was excellent!
Above is my video from the day, and below is more of my pictures from my visit.
Thanks for reading.