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Will you soon be travelling on a restored coach in north Norfolk?

PUBLISHED: 06:00 07 April 2017 | UPDATED: 09:35 07 April 2017

Three of the restored suburban coaches being pulled by locomotive number 76084 last year: Pictures: Steve Allen

Three of the restored suburban coaches being pulled by locomotive number 76084 last year: Pictures: Steve Allen

Archant

Passengers in north Norfolk will soon be able to travel on a set of four restored suburban coaches following the completion of a £250,000 project.

One of the suburban coaches being restored. Pictures: Steve Allen One of the suburban coaches being restored. Pictures: Steve Allen

The joint project between the North Norfolk Railway and the Heritage Lottery Fund will be launched at Sheringham station at 11.30am on April 15.

This will be followed by the coaches being hauled for the first time with passengers to Holt and returning via Weybourne.

Invited guests including representatives from the HLF will travel on the train which will consist of the two coaches funded by the HLF and the remaining two funded by the railway.

The suburban project was the brainchild of former chairman of the NNR, Clive Morris. It started in 2014 and was completed early this year.

Mr Morris died part way through the project, and the April 15 event will also see the formal opening of the Clive Morris Room at Weybourne. It will be inaugurated by his widow, Betty Morris.

Hugh Harkett, NNR managing director, said: “Clive would indeed have been proud of the achievement of a running suburban four-set.

“The carriage and wagon department and volunteers of the NNR are to be heartily congratulated on the high quality workmanship that has gone into these splendid suburban coaches.

“We have expended in the region of £250,000 on this very worthy project, including an exhibition coach showing the refurbishment methodology and history of suburban travel.”

These locomotive-hauled Mk1 suburban carriages were some of the last of a long line of non-gangwayed coaches reaching back to the dawn of railways. Introduced in 1954 they survived until 1977, being the last of their kind on the British Railways network.

The final examples ended their days working suburban services out of London’s King’s Cross station before being superseded by modern electric services.

The HLF has contributed around £90,000, the NNR received donations of £50,000 and the rest came out of reserves.

The carriages will later be used in the NNR’s galas – first from April 21-23 and then, in a special suburban travel week, from July 2-9.

The NNR operates steam and diesel heritage services between Sheringham and Holt.

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