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A war hero weighing 133 tons will be honoured in Sheringham

Steam locomotive 90775, based on the North Norfolk Railway, will be named “The Royal Norfolk Regiment”. Picture: Peter Mayne

Steam locomotive 90775, based on the North Norfolk Railway, will be named “The Royal Norfolk Regiment”. Picture: Peter Mayne

Archant

A former famous Norfolk regiment and a very different kind of war hero are to be honoured in a ceremony at Sheringham.

Steam locomotive 90775, based on the North Norfolk Railway, has just emerged from eight years of restoration and will be named The Royal Norfolk Regiment.

The event will take place at Sheringham NNR station at 12pm on Saturday, September 9.

This will be followed by a special train taking guests to Holt and back, hauled by the newly named locomotive.

It is the first mainline steam, diesel or electric locomotive to bear this highly appropriate name.

The locomotive is a war hero in its own right. It was built in 1943, and it saw active service in Greece from 1944, playing its part in the liberation of that country from enemy occupation, hauling heavy goods trains of arms and equipment.

The locomotive remained in Greece after the war and continued in service until the end of steam in that country in the 1980s. It was saved by local steam enthusiasts and repatriated to the UK in 1984, coming to Norfolk in 2003.

It hauled passenger trains on the Poppy Line until 2009 when it was taken out of service for a full overhaul at the railway’s Weybourne workshops.

It’s owned by the Midland and Great Northern Joint Railway Society [M&GN JRS], the charity which supports the railway.

Society chairman Neil Sharpe said: “The naming of 90775 is something of which the society and the regiment are extremely proud. The naming honours generations of local soldiers who served in the regiment over almost 400 years and so cements a uniquely strong local connection between the locomotive, the North Norfolk Railway and our county.

“Discussions with the successor regiment, The Royal Anglians, began before Christmas and, with their full support, our event on September 9 promises to be both impressive and colourful. Not only will it have the full military honours available to the Royal Anglians but will also see many old soldiers present to pay their respects to what we hope they will come to see as their locomotive and undoubtedly tell their stories.”

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