Keighley Ivatt to appear at Poppy Line gala
BR Ivatt 2-6-2T No. 41241 is set to make a rare appearance away from its Keighley & Worth Valley Railway home as a guest at the North Norfolk Railway’s April 1-3 spring steam gala.
No. 41241, which was outshopped from Crewe in September 1949, was purchased directly from BR, arriving on the KWVR in March 1967 under its own power after barely 18 years’ main line service. However, because BR demanded that preserved steam locomotives did not wear the BR livery with its then current crest, No. 41241 was repainted into lined maroon livery with the letters K&WVR written on its sidetanks. It wore this for the heritage line’s reopening in June 1968.
At Sheringham, No. 41241will be in action on all three days of the event, which will feature an intensive service of passenger and good trains, selected double-heading, nonstop expresses and other unusual workings. Five engines will be in steam each day, with four of the line’s home fleet joining No. 41241 to give a different combination each day.
Resident motive power will be drawn from centenarian GER Class Y14 No. 564, Somerset & Dorset Joint Railway 7F No. 53809, 1957-built BR Standard 4MT No. 76084 and 2-10-0s BR Standard 9F No. 92203 Black Prince and War Department No. 90775 The Royal Norfolk Regiment.
The line’s recently repainted fourcar suburban set will be among the rolling stock in use, while the line’s magnificently restored vintage train of four and six-wheeled carriages, some dating from Victorian times, will also appear.
Also, a mixed train of passenger stock and goods wagons is scheduled to operate each day, recapturing a former feature of rural railways.
One, two and three-day rover tickets are available, and trains will run from approximately 9am to 6pm on Friday and Saturday and until 5pm on Sunday. One-day tickets are £22.50 when booked in advance, while two days’ unlimited travel is £40 and the full three days will cost just £55.
NNR commercial manager Graham Hukins said: “The steam gala delivers more than nine hours of on-track entertainment each day so is perfect for photographers, enthusiasts, families, and day trippers alike.
“We are looking forward to welcoming No. 41241 as it will be a first-time visitor to the line and we expect its distinctive red livery to prove popular with visitors.”
The gala marks the start of the line’s daily running season, which will see steam trains operating every day until October 30.
Before then, Class 37 D6732 will be in the limelight, heading the Poppy Line’s diesel services on Saturday, March 26 to mark both the locomotive’s 60th birthday and its return to service following a thorough repaint into the BR green it carried when it first entered service in March 1962.
D6732 is one of more than 300 English Electric Type 3s delivered between 1960 and 1965 as part of BR’s modernisation plan. D6732 was initially allocated to Hull Dairycoates depot and worked passenger and freight trains in the North West for much of it career.
In 1996, the locomotive became the first Class 37 to work in preservation when it hauled its first train on the NNR. Class members were no strangers to the area, seeing regular use on InterCity services from London to Norwich, while others were the mainstay of Liverpool Street to Cambridge and King’s Lynn services.
The distinctive agricultural sound of the engines has earned Class 37s the nickname of‘tractors’among enthusiasts. On March 26, the locomotive will be paired with the line’s rake of four 1950s suburban coaches, which have received a refresh over the winter in the line’s Weybourne works.
There, the carriage and wagon team also undertook the required bodywork repairs to D6732 ahead of the arrival of specialist contractors from Heritage Painting Limited, who carried out the most comprehensive repaint D6732 has received in 25plus years.
Locomotive owner Alistair Barham praised the specialists: “The thoroughness of the preparation and the care they have taken with the repainting and signwriting was very impressive and the loco now looks as good as it did when she first turned a wheel six decades ago. I am delighted with the result.”
March 26 will see a mixed service of steam and diesel-hauled trains, with D6732 working the 10.35am, 12.15pm, 2.05pm and 3.50pm departures from Sheringham and the 11.30am, 1.15pm, 3.05pm and 4.30pm services from Holt.