Heritage sector mourns tour operator supremo

THE railway sector has paid tribute to Railway Touring Company founder Nigel Dobbing, who passed away in hospital following an illness on October 14 at the age of 66.

Nigel, a father, brother and grandfather, died in the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn, where the popular tour operator was based.

Carrying a wreath on the smokebox in tribute to Nigel Dobbing of the Railway Touring Company, who had died a few days before, LNER A4 Pacific No. 60009 Union of South Africa accelerates away from Nigel’s home town of Melton Mowbray with ‘The Yorkshireman’ from Ealing Broadway to York on October 20, one of only a handful of special trains each year that picks up passengers in the town. BRIAN SHARPE

Coming from a farming background, his passion for steam began back in his early days as a child near Melton Mowbray, often watching trains on the LNW & GN joint line from Market Harborough to Bottesford, or the Midland main line, with its Jubilee-hauled express.

Pursing his dream

During his career as a hotelier while managing The Duke’s Head in King’s Lynn during the late Eighties, Nigel pursued a dream and decided to organise a steam-hauled charter.

Buoyed by its success, he decided that a business could be made from steam charters and set up the Railway Touring Company as a result.

Taking advantage of opportunities offered by rail privatisation and the opening of the British railway network in the mid-Nineties, he launched the Railway Touring Company in 1997.

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