Listen to this article:
After appearing at the North Norfolk Railway’s Mixed Traction Gala earlier this month, visiting Class 25, D7659, is to stay at the East Anglian line until late July and will play a leading role in a number of forthcoming events.
The recently-restored “Rat” will appear at the NNR’s Beer & Cider Festival on Friday 24 and Sunday 26 June hauling three return trips from Sheringham plus an early service from Holt. Diesel duties on Saturday 25 will be handled by resident Class 37, D6732.
- The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service given to North Norfolk Railway and The Watercress Line
- “Sherlock Holmes” Returns to North Norfolk Railway
- North Norfolk Railway looking forward to 2022 season after strong performance in 2021
D7659 will also haul services at the line’s Vintage Weekend on Saturday 2 and Sunday 3 July when it will be paired with the railway’s 4-car rake of BR suburban carriages. The engine will also be in action hauling two return trips on Sunday 17 and Friday 22 July before making its final North Norfolk appearance at the line’s Sixties Weekend on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 July. That event will recall the decade’s transition from steam to diesel power with D7659 scheduled to work alongside Class 37, D6732 and the railway’s two BR ‘standards’ – 9F, No. 92203 “Black Prince” and 4MT No. 76084.
Owned by the Waterman Railway Heritage Trust, D7659 returned to service late last year after an absence of over 23 years and is making her first visit trip away from her Peak Rail base following a restoration that amounted to a complete rebuild of the 1966-built locomotive. The Class 25 was the final locomotive built by Beyer Peacock at the historic Gorton Works in Manchester and during a 20-year working life with British Railways worked mainly in the Midlands and North West, but also saw service in Wales and Scotland and worked some summer holiday specials to Norwich in the 1970s.
The Sulzer-powered loco’s first NNR duties were at the line’s popular Mixed Traction Gala on 10, 11 and 12 June. The three-day event attracted almost 1,400 passengers and featured nine motive power units comprising steam and diesel locomotives, shunters and heritage railcars.