Officials of the North Norfolk Railway are gearing up for their annual Diesel Gala event which opens on Friday and continues over the weekend at Sheringham.
Organised by the NNR’s supporting diesel group, the Weybourne Traction Group, the event will be the biggest of the type the railway has ever put on, with four visiting engines joining all the diesel-powered machines normally based on the NNR. A collective 10,760 horsepower will be on display from machines dating back to the late 1950s and 1960s.
There are plenty of attractions to enjoy over the course of the weekend, including plenty of real ale, served from the pump aboard the Muddle & Go Nowhere Real Ale Bar car, which is housed in a beautifully restored 1937 LNER restaurant buffet coach and from a beer tent at Sheringham station. Special ‘Beerex’ trains run late into the evening, with special meals cooked by the railway’s dining train team available on board.
The engines on show range from a massive 1700hp Diesel-Hydraulic Hyme’ through to a modest 350hp shunting engine.
Normally confined to moving carriages and wagons in the sidings, the Class 11 shunter will be giving rides between trains at Weybourne; the Hyme’ will be making it’s first visit to the North Norfolk Railway – the last time such a machine was thought to make it to Norfolk was in the mid-1970s.
All the engines at work over the weekend were designed by British Railways to replace steam engines, but are now fast becoming antiquated machines themselves. All of them run on jet-age technology and feature no computers or processors, just good old fashioned British ingenuity!
Other engines on show include the immaculately restored Class 37 D6732, which is based on the NNR and took a painstaking eight years to fully rebuild by volunteers and returned to traffic exactly one year ago.
A second Class 37 will visit the railway from the national network, from Direct Rail Services, crossing over Sheringham Level Crossing yesterday.
Returning to traffic for the first time since 2013 is the NNR’s resident Class 25. Nicknamed the Rat, it has been put to the test in the weeks before the event.
The event also marks the first year of the Weybourne Traction Group Diesel Club, which was set up to help raise funds to help keep the NNR’s diesel locomotives running.
Great value hop-on, hop-off rover tickets mean visitors can ride as many trains as they like; for those visiting who still wish to travel on steam there will be a steam service added on Sunday. For further information call North Norfolk Railway on 01263 820800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org