Next stop, retirement! End of line for North Norfolk Railway chief
- Credit: Archant
It started out as a retirement opportunity, taking pleasure in a love of trains - but turned into a role running one of the country's most successful heritage lines.
After seven memorable years at the top Trevor Eady is stepping down as North Norfolk Railway (NNR) boss.
During that time passenger numbers have increased by 40,000 with double the number of trains running during the holiday season.
Mr Eady, 66, is going out on a high with the NNR winning best Norfolk and Suffolk large visitor attraction at the EDP Hoseseasons Tourism Awards.
And in a further accolade the popular attraction received a certificate of excellence at the National Railway Heritage Awards this month.
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Former Norwich Airport commercial director and deputy MD Mr Eady assumed his business career was at an end when he joined the railway as a volunteer ticket inspector ten years ago.
But, after a spell working as a guard he was approached about taking on the general manager's role following the departure of his predecessor.
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'Aviation had been my career since leaving school, I started at Heathrow and then moved to Norwich Airport where I worked my way up the ranks,' explained Mr Eady.
'It had not been my intention to get back into such a role. However, the opportunity came up. I had something to offer with my experience at the airport and decided to take it on.'
Mr Eady has overseen the opening of a new tourist information centre and shop at Sheringham station, with NNR taking responsibility for managing the facilities from North Norfolk District Council.
This summer also saw the first steam dining trains running on the mainline to Cromer.
Mr Eady said: 'I hope it may be possible to run trains through to Norwich and we are looking to create new exhibition centre at Holt.
'There has been a lot of highlights, from opening up the level crossing to the main line and the whole change in the way we work here on the customer service side. 'But winning the Norfolk and Suffolk best large visitor attraction award is something I have strived to achieve and what I am most proud of.'
North Norfolk Railway managing director Hugh Harkett paid tribute to Mr Eady.
He said: 'Trevor has developed our train services year on year, to record passenger numbers of more than 160,000.
'We have been lucky to have someone with his expertise and commercial record and much appreciated working with him.'
Operations and safety director at Chiltern Railways Andrew Munden will replace Mr Eady as general manager in the new year.