Grand icons of steam draw crowds to Dereham event
Hundreds of train enthusiasts are heading to Dereham today to see a true icon of the steam era.
The LMS 6100 Royal Scot made an appearance at the town's heritage line, the Mid Norfolk Railway, yesterday and will be the star attraction of the summer steam gala, which will be running throughout the weekend.
Mark Bowley, a volunteer at the Mid Norfolk Railway in Dereham, said yesterday: 'We've had hundreds upon hundreds of people here today and I expect it will be even busier over the weekend.
'The Royal Scot, and the Duchess of Sutherland, which is also here, are real icons.
'Looking at the online bookings we've got people coming from all over the country to come and see them.'
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The Royal Scot toured Canada and the United States more than 80 years ago.
Both today and tomorrow it will be ferrying passengers between Dereham and Wymondham.
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The locomotive, which was built at Derby Works in 1930 as 6152 The King's Dragoon Guardsman, swapped identity with the original Royal Scot built three years earlier when it was sent to the Century of Progress Exposition of 1933.
It toured Canada and the United States with a train of carriages, even climbing the Rocky Mountains.
A special commemorative plate that sits below its nameplates states that it covered 11,194 miles over the railroads of the North American continent and was inspected by 3,021,601 people.
It was withdrawn from British Railways service in October 1962 and bought by Billy Butlin for cosmetic restoration and displayed at the Skegness Holiday Camp.
It ran in British Railways green while in service and was painted maroon during preservation.
But in 1971 it moved to Bressingham Steam Museum, near Diss, and was bought from Butlin's in 1989.
Here it was renovated and then sold in 2009 to the newly formed Royal Scot Locomotive & General Trust.
After further extensive refurbishment it re-entered service in 2015.
For more information and timetables, visit www.mnr.org.uk