Anonymous benefactor ensures north Norfolk engine has a bright future
PUBLISHED: 09:04 30 November 2017 | UPDATED: 09:04 30 November 2017
North Norfolk Railway,
A supporter of the North Norfolk Railway has made a generous offer to help get one of the organisations’ top engines back on track.
Earlier this year, the future of the NNR’s Standard ‘4MT’ No. 76084 was thrown into question after a key shareholder announced they were selling their 31% of the engine.
However, an unnamed supporter of the group has come forward and bought the shares for an undisclosed sum, keeping the train in north Norfolk, and enabling the train’s managers to continue with their plans for its future.
Although the 247,532 shares which had been put up for sale by John Oldcon were not a key share, they did have enough influence that if bought by the wrong person, could pull the engine in a different direction.
“The engine stays here and we have lots of plans for it,” said Hugh Harkett, managing director of the NNR.
“The first of those includes a re-tube with the aim of extending its main line boiler certification from seven to ten years, before embarking on a third consecutive summer season of dining trains over the Bittern Line between Sheringham and Cromer.”
Mr Harkett added: “The other shareholders in the Standard 4 have received the news very well and while we’re not putting a block on it to stop it going elsewhere, it will be based here.
“Nevertheless the loco will probably be visiting other railways and will likely be running on the main line and we will not want to stop that happening, unless we have work for 76084.”
He continued: “The North Norfolk Railway have a long term agreement with 76084, and that would have been the case anyway. The 76084 Company Ltd. will still pay for any work carried out on their engine.”
For those keen to see the locomotive in action, it will be part of the Santa Pullman Lunch trains running this December, as well as continuing as a Norfolkman Dining Train.
Eric Bond, publicity officer for 76084 Locomotive Company Ltd. said: “We were concerned that a heritage railway line could buy half the shares and left others out in the cold… but they [the NNR] look after the shareholders really well, so it’s a win-win all round.”