North Norfolk Railway announce second Spring Steam Gala visitor


The North Norfolk Railway has announced Bagnall No 401 “Vulcan” as a second visiting engine for their annual Spring Steam Gala in April.

Bagnall No 401 “Vulcan” (courtesy of Rob Clark)

The 0-6-0ST will appear alongside the line’s other gala visitor, Bulleid West Country pacific 34028 “Eddystone”, when the event runs on 14, 15 and 16 April this year.

“Vulcan” will appear in the same striking red livery as when it entered service at the Port Talbot steelworks in 1951. The locomotive was purchased by the Austin Motor Company in 1957 for the Longbridge car plant and gained its name after the V bombers that were being deployed with the RAF at the time.

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Unusual for an industrial design, No 401 boasts outside cylinders and Walschaerts valve gear as well as a number of features that were relatively modern at the time of construction, such as roller bearings, hopper ashpans and rocking grates, which contributed to the locomotive’s reputation for being robust and reliable when in service. 

North Norfolk Railway Commercial Manager, Graham Hukins said, “We’re looking forward to welcoming “Vulcan” to our steam gala and are grateful to the North Tyneside Steam Railway for making the locomotive available.

He added, “The rugged industrial couldn’t be further removed from our other visitor, “Eddystone”, which once hauled crack expresses. The pair will help us demonstrate a wide variety of trains from fast passenger, local stoppers, goods trains and the occasional ‘mixed’ over the course of the gala.”

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Southern Railway rebuilt West Country Class Bulleid Pacific No. 34028 ‘Eddystone’ (courtesy of Jack Phipps)

Resident motive power scheduled to feature in the Spring Steam Gala timetable is 1957-built BR Standard 4MT No. 76084, 9F No. 92203 “Black Prince” and the 113 year old Y14 No 564, meaning visitors will be able to enjoy up to nine hours of on-track entertainment and travel behind five contrasting steam locomotives each day.

GER Class Y14 No. 564 hauls a train of restored Victorian carriages (courtesy of Steve Allen)

The North Norfolk’s 1950s 4-car suburban set will be amongst the rolling stock in use while the line’s magnificently restored vintage train of four- and six- wheeled carriages, some dating from Victorian times, will also make an appearance. The line is also expecting to have its unique LNER Quad-Art articulated teak-bodied carriages available for passengers throughout the event following a period out of service for tyre turning.

On-train catering, including the popular breakfast option, will also return to this year’s gala.

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One, two and three-day rover tickets are available and trains will run from approximately 9.00am until early evening. 

Early bird tickets offer a discount of £5.00 per day and are available online until 31 March. Early bird rates are: £25.00 for a one day rover, £47.50 for two days’ unlimited travel is and the full three days will cost just £60.00.

The Railway’s standard services will run on most days between April and October. Trains run through 5½ miles of wonderful scenery between the Victorian resort of Sheringham and the Georgian town of Holt. Full details and timetables can be found at www.nnrailway.co.uk and passengers booking online in advance receive a generous discount.

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