The GWR steam locomotive will star at the North Norfolk Railway Bank’s Holiday Steam Gala

A GWR heavy freight locomotive will take the lead role at the North Norfolk Railway (NNR) for its Bank Holiday Steam Gala during the August bank holiday.

GWR 2-8-0T No 4270 will be one of seven steam engines for the three-day event between Saturday 27th and Monday 29th August.

The gala will operate on a special intensive schedule and offer a varied program of passenger services, including double-capped, non-stop express trains, local works and demonstration freight trips.

4270 was built at GWR’s Swindon Works in 1919 to handle heavy goods trains in the coalfields of South Wales, where it continued to run until it was withdrawn in 1962. It then languished for more than two decades scrapped by the Woodham Brothers in Barry but was rescued in the mid-eighties. The restoration was a lengthy affair until 4270 was finally returned to service in 2014. The locomotive is owned by Locomotive Services Limited and is based at Gloucester Warwickshire Railway.

4270 will be joined by the five NNR tender locomotives, including:

  • Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway 2-8-0 7F No. 53809;
  • Standard BR 2-10-0 9F n° 92203 black Prince;
  • War Department 2-10-0 #90775 The Royal Norfolk Regiment;
  • BR Standard 4MT No. 76084 built in 1957;
  • centenary GER Class Y14 No. 564, which is the oldest running locomotive on the line.

The line also hopes to secure a second visiting locomotive for the event.

The line’s diverse collection of rolling stock will also be showcased at the gala. A train of unique four- and six-wheeled cars from the Victorian era will run with the unique “Quad-Art” set.

Articulated LNER teak-bodied cars from the 1920s will also be in service. These have been out of service for the first half of this season and have undergone periodic maintenance. This included the refinishing of all four carriages and the specialist re-profiling of the wheels using a state-of-the-art mobile lathe.

A four-car commuter set will also be among the cars in service, along with two sets in 1950s and 1960s livery that will include onboard catering in the art-deco Gresley bar car or a Buffet Mk.I.

One-, two-, and three-day rover tickets are available for the gala, and trains will run from approximately 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and until 5:00 p.m. on Sunday. One-day tickets cost £22.50 when booked in advance, two days of unlimited travel cost £40.00 and the full three days cost £55.00. Full details can be found at www.nnrailway.co.uk.,

Commercial Director, Graham Hukins, commented: “The event will serve one of the intensive and varied schedules that characterize our galas. There is a chance to ride behind several different locomotives and experience steam train travel from the Victorian era to the 1960s and our stations also provide excellent photographic opportunities for passengers. We look forward to hosting 4270 and giving visitors the unusual opportunity to see a Great Western tank engine on East Anglian metals.

Jose P. Rogers