66424 to haul first-ever passenger trains at gala


Visitors to Rails & Ales at the North Norfolk Railway this weekend will have the chance to travel behind a locomotive that has never previously hauled passenger trains. Direct Rail Services (DRS) have facilitated the visit of Class 66, 66424 Driver Paul Scrivens for the three-day gala on June 9, 10 and 11.

The locomotive was built by General Motors in North America in 2007 and shipped across the Atlantic for use on heavy intermodal freight trains including including ferrying supplies for Tesco. It has also worked flask trains from nuclear power stations to the Sellafield reprocessing facility. Its duties mean it rarely appears in East Anglia so this is a rare opportunity to see and travel behind the engine.

Commercial manager Graham Hukins said “We are very grateful to DRS for making 66424 available for the event – we believe this will be the first time the engine has ever hauled passenger trains so it is a unique opportunity for enthusiasts, local residents and holidaymakers alike. The engine will be one of 10 in action at the event which sees two of our powerful steam engines joined by seven diesels and a heritage railcar.”

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Away from the tracks, ales will feature at each of the line’s three stations and on certain trains with Sheringham and Holt stations both having a selection of bottled beers and ciders on offer, while further brews and other on board refreshments will be available from the buffet cars on selected trains. Weybourne will host a real ale bar, giving visitors the opportunity to hop on and off the many trains and discover around 25 beers and ciders across the three stations on each day. The local focus extends to live music at Weybourne each day with live bands from the area performing and Drivetime Disco providing DJ sets, playing visitors’ requests; www.nnrailway.co.uk/mixed/ gives the full line-up.

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