The annual members day was held on the 3rd October 2015, but before the event had even started there had been a few slip ups. The flagship locomotive of the railway, LNER B12 8572 had run into the buffers at Holt on the 1940s weekend two weeks previously. This had meant that the locomotive was not available for the event, although 8572 was going to enter the works for Winter maintenance after this event. Locomotives in operation were BR 4MT 76084, Y14 564, Hunswell Clarke 1700 Wissington and Class 31 D5631.
The vintage set was one of the highlights of the event, as the M&GN Picnic Coach was finally released into traffic. It look absolutely stunning and felt right at home with the railway’s vintage stock. Although the set had been in service since Thursday, seeing the vintage set growing to the size it is now is quite an achievement.
Another feature of the event was the “driver for a fiver,” available at Sheringham with all four locomotives in service taking turns. As the Y14 (J15) had returned to service only last week after a considerable time out of action from main service duty, I chose to drive that locomotive from the head shunt into the station. Personally, this was the highlight of the event, as many school boys want to drive a locomotive and I got a chance, on my locomotive of choice!
The Y14 was working faultlessly, considering after its re-launch event where is struggled for most of the day. The new livery was certainly a head turner and it still claims to be one of the best on a preserved locomotive in the country. This looked all the better seeing it leave Weybourne station with the Quad-Art set, the only set preserved in the country.
The other highlight of the event was looking around the sheds and seeing all of the locomotives that were out of action and under repair. Our first stop was the boiler of WD 2-10-0 90775, which the boiler is soon to undergo a steam test. It is expected that the locomotive will return to service in 2016.
We then saw a diesel that had not been seen in the public eye for a long time, the Class 03, D2063 with the owner slowly undertaking its owner. Behind it is Class 08 D3935, which is undergoing major overhaul. Sitting at the left of the image, is Black 5 45337, which failed before the autumn steam gala, and is undergoing repairs.
The next stop was the B12. Currently they are not allowed to state how the accident happened, as it is undergoing an external investigation. This is the last time the locomotive will be in this state, before they strip it down to assess the state of the it.
As can be seen in the picture below, the guard irons (which are used to move items out of the way of the locomotive so it does not foul the under-frame and wheels) have been severely bent.
Venturing outside, we saw two of the diesel fleet, with the class 25 having recently visited the Mid-Norfolk Railway for their diesel gala. The class 37 behind has been a regular performer of the railway this year, having seeing it during the Wissington & Irene event (click here to read) and the Autumn Steam gala (click here to read).
We had a look inside the carriage and wagons works, where unfortunately I did not get any photographs due to how cramp the workshop was, but I will plug the NNR Carriage and Wagon Blog, which is usually updated weekly, with all of the latest news with the carriages in the works. We then looked inside the machine shop and the returned outside, where I could get a better picture of the WD’s boiler, which not only is it quite large, but a point of interest is that the smoke box had been reinstalled quite recently.
Boarding the picnic coach one more time, I could not resist getting a picture of the inside and carrying passengers, just like it was designed to do over 100 years ago when it was first constructed.
Thanks for reading.