North Norfolk Railway Spring Steam Gala 2017

On the 22nd April, I visited the North Norfolk Railway for the Spring Steam Gala. An intensive service was in operation, and saw six steam locomotives operating. Visiting locomotives were LMS Stanier 8F, No. 48624, 2-8-0 from the Great Central Railway, and 56xx GWR 0-6-2T, 5643, visiting from the Embsay & Bolton Abbey Railway, and owned by the Furness Railway Trust.

DSC01947Also in attendance was the home fleet, consisting of LNER B12 Class, 8572, 4-6-0, GER Y14 Class, 564, 0-6-0, BR Standard 4MT, 76084, 2-6-0 ‘Standard 4’ and Ring Haw, 1982, 0-6-0ST.DSC01946It was also the first event since the completion of the Suburban four, a project to restore four suburban coaches to as built condition, to compliment the Quad-Arts coaches owned by the M&GN Society. Unfortunately, the Quad Arts Set was not in operation, but the restored Surburban coaches were a star of the event. The 6 year project finally came to a close a week before the Gala, and shows the dedication and craftsmanship of the Carriage and Wagon works at Weybourne. DSC01948The Standard 4 had just returned from the North Yorkshire Moors Railways a few weeks before the gala. DSC01949Doubled headed services operated regularly throughout the day, and saw some unusual combinations. This was the 56xx and B12 leaving Sheringham for a service to Holt.DSC01950It has been two years since the J15 was restored back to its’ Y14 guise, and performed impeccably throughout the day. Speaking to the volunteers during the event, they said that the locomotive has improved dramatically since it limped back to service in 2015, and, this year, it is hoping to have its first visit away from the Norfolk Coast at the Severn Valley Railway on the 21st to 23rd September.DSC01952The detail work on the Great Eastern Railway crest is a sight to behold.DSC01954After travelling to Holt on the Suburban set, the work at Weybourne can be seen, it was a very smooth ride. The Y14 can be seen resting at Holt, with steam billowing out of pipes, and very atmospheric shot.DSC01955The locomotive is quite striking in it’s blue livery.DSC01957The stalwart Ring Haw being in operation is always a treat, as the locomotive is normally on holiday during the steam galas. At the moment, it is at the Spa Valley Railway, flying the flag for the NNR!DSC01958Weybourne station has a wonderful vantage point of locomotives leaving the station and passing under the bridge, which always makes for a beautiful picture of the train departing.DSC01959WD 2-10-0 90775 was not ready in time for the event, the week preceding, it had made its first movements under its own steam since the completion of its’ overhaul. At the time of the gala, it was waiting for the correct sized BR Crest for the tender, and to pass the load tests, which is passed a few weeks later with flying colours.DSC01960While the railway doesn’t own a 56xx, there is always a representative on the line, and looks very much as part of the railway furniture.DSC01961Another doublehead was of the BR Standard 4 and LMS 8F, this time with a non-stop service to Holt. DSC01962The 8F was a refreshing visitor for the railway, filling the void of a unlined black locomotive while the WD and 9F Black Prince completes their respective overhauls.DSC01963A small plaque on the 8F honouring all of the  people who have worked on the locomotive since 1981 to 2009.DSC01964Later on in the evening was of the two tank locomotives, Ring Haw and the 56xx, seen here departing from Sheringham.DSC01965Sheringham station has been improved dramatically since the addition of the bridge at the end of the platform. The 8F is seen here passing under it while running around its’ train.DSC01966As the sun starts to set, the event came to a close, and the suburban four set are seen here in the station, after travelling from Holt, and waiting to be moved into the yard.DSC01967Sheringham shunter, a class 11 pulls the train out of the station into the yard just outside the platform. The yard has expanded, and new pointwork has been put into place, which has expanded the amount of movements that can happen during the galas.DSC01968Ring Haw follows the Suburban Four set as it clears the platform before departing to Weybourne to prepare it for Sunday’s operations.DSC01970As the 56xx travels from the headshunt at Sheringham, before returning to Weybourne, and back to the sheds. An incredible gala, with a good service, and a good selection of steam locomotives, both home and visiting. I wait in anticipation for the Autumn Steam Gala, with the return of the WD and Black Prince.

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