Photo gallery & Video: Full steam ahead! Dozens gather on platform as historic train leaves Norwich railway station

A4 Pacific locomotive Union of South Africa heads through the Norfolk countryside for it's passenger

A4 Pacific locomotive Union of South Africa heads through the Norfolk countryside for it's passenger trip to York.Picture by SIMON FINLAY. - Credit: Archant Norfolk

A steam engine caused a stir at Norwich railway station, with dozens gathering on the platform to film its arrival.

A4 Pacific locomotive Union of South Africa at Norwich station for it's passenger trip to York. Enth

A4 Pacific locomotive Union of South Africa at Norwich station for it's passenger trip to York. Enthusiasts and passengers take in the atmosphere.Picture by SIMON FINLAY. - Credit: Archant Norfolk

The 60009 Union of South Africa, built in 1937, is today making a special journey to York, chugging through Wymondham, Attleborough, Thetford, Brandon, March and Peterborough.

Eager passengers gathered to see the train arrive, before it set out at 8.05am.

Alan Thayne, 64, of Long Stratton, said he and wife Liz enjoy the outing every year, having breakfast and dinner on the train.

'We like York and are doing a bit of Christmas shopping there,' he said. 'It's a bit of nostalgia - I just enjoy the whole thing.

A4 Pacific locomotive Union of South Africa as Dawn breaks at Norwich station for it's passenger tri

A4 Pacific locomotive Union of South Africa as Dawn breaks at Norwich station for it's passenger trip to York.Picture by SIMON FINLAY. - Credit: Archant Norfolk


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'It's relaxing listening to it chugging along and you get well looked after.'

Terence Piles, 69, of Beccles, was bought tickets as a birthday treat by his wife, before he turns 70 in January.

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'I'm into steam trains,' he said. 'It's a nice trip up to York.

'We got tickets as soon as we knew they were available.'

Jean Markwell, of Aylsham, saw the train with her husband Paul at an exhibition in York last year.

But they wanted to enjoy it on the move.

'We saw the advert in the EDP so we decided to give it a go,' said Mrs Markwell. 'You can get a week's holiday for the same price, but even so we booked it.

'It's just a winter treat.'

Bill Messer, 69, of Sudbury, and his wife Marge, 67, booked the trip for their 49th wedding anniversary.

'We've been on them before,' said Mr Messer. 'They're excellent.

'We always go first class to have the breakfast and the dinner.

'You get all the scenery and food on the train.'

The 'York Yuletide Express' will pass through Grantham, Newark and Retford before stopping at Doncaster for the steam locomotive to take on water and making a fast run along the East Coast Main Line to York.

It is being operated by The Railway Touring Company, based in King's Lynn, for details see www.railwaytouring.net/

Did you see the train? Email your photos to newsdesk@archant.co.uk

Don't miss tomorrow's newspaper for a two-page special on the Union of South Africa's visit to the region. Including a spectacular full-page poster picture by EDP photographer Simon Finlay capturing the loco in full steam.

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