North Norfolk steam gala enjoys great success - despite missing star loco

One of the classic engines on the tracks at Sheringham station as part of the North Norfolk Railway'

One of the classic engines on the tracks at Sheringham station as part of the North Norfolk Railway's annual steam gala. Photo: Karen Bethell - Credit: Archant

Thousands of visitors poured into Sheringham over the weekend to take a nostalgic trip on the North Norfolk Railway as it hosted its annual summer steam gala.

Steam train enthusiasts Tony and Nicky walker with son Alfie, 10, and their two Jack Russel terriers

Steam train enthusiasts Tony and Nicky walker with son Alfie, 10, and their two Jack Russel terriers take a trip on the Poppy Line during the North Norfolk Railway's annual steam festival. Photo: Karen Bethell - Credit: Archant

Organisers were concerned the sudden withdrawal of one the star locos Tornado - which was blocked from coming due to overrunning engineering works - would have an impact on numbers.

But they were swamped with eager passengers, holidaymakers and enthusiasts across all three days of the gala, which steamed into action on Friday.

Steven Ashling, a director of the historic Poppy Line, said: 'The platform at Sheringham was heaving. The trains were full and everyone seemed to be smiling, which is what it's all about.'

Railway general manager Trevor Eady added: 'It's gone really well. We have had an awful lot of people, hardly any delays and I think the people that have come - which is going to be a large number when we finally count them - have really enjoyed it.


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'We've had lots of compliments from people, I think it's done what we wanted.'

Several visiting locos pulled excited passengers between Sheringham and Holt throughout the three days, and many more clambered aboard on Friday and Saturday evening when the line ran two its popular fish and chip supper trains.

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Among the visitors to take a historic trip was Nicky Walker, her husband Tony and son Alfie, 10, who are all big steam fans.

The family, from Beverley, near Hull, travelled from their holiday accommodation at Hunstanton to Sheringham especially for the gala.

Mr Walker said that, while the whole family were big railway enthusiasts, none was as big a fan as their 17-year-old Jack Russell Alice, whose love of steam was kindled on the North Yorkshire Railway, and who joined the trio on the Poppy Line.

He added: 'She absolutely loves watching steam trains and positively shivers with delight when has a chance to ride on one.'

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