Thursday, 26 January 2017

In the bleak Mid-Norfolk

Friday 30th December 2016 should have been a great day out on a railtour with friends heading up to the Mid Norfolk Railway with a class 442 and some 31's with the Rail Operations Group. Sadly for reasons which have still not entirely been explained the tour was cancelled for because of a 'gauging' issue. With the day booked off work and a ticket to the Mid-Norfolk event a plan was hashed together to visit and support the railway regardless. The MNR itself had lost three of it's visiting locos through the cancellation of the tour and the remaining traction taking part in the diesel day was 45133, 47367, 47596 and 66776. The two 47's are based on the line while the class 47 'Peak' was making it's last runs before moving home to the Midland Railway Butterley after an extended stay. 66776 was provided by the ever friendly GBRf at short notice.

The weather was forcast to be gloomy and cold and as we set off from Kings Cross on a class 365 (far less exciting than a loco hauled 'Wessex'!) we were surprised when full sun conditions developed as we neared Hitchin. These were to be short lived and by the time we had arrived at Wymondham the cloud that would envelop us for the remainder of the day had arrived.
Several runs were had on the railway with all four locomotives, the opportunity was also available to travel on the northern extension of the railway beyond Dereham to Hoe, a route which is currently only available for use on a limited number of days each year. Despite the cancellation of the railtour trains on the line were well patronised and with heating provided throughout and the addition of the Mk3 Buffet serving freshly cooked breakfasts it was a pleasant day ambling through the Norfolk countryside- even if the gloom meant there wasn't too much to see!
At the end of the day it was time to head back to London for some much needed pub grub in the Parcel Yard pub at Kings Cross. A few more friends joined and thus ended the railway year.

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