Ivatt 2-6-2T No 41241 is set to make a rare appearance away from Keighley & Worth Valley Railway metals as guest locomotive at the North Norfolk Railway’s Spring Steam Gala on 1, 2 & 3 April.

41241 is a preservation pioneer, having moved to Keighley under her own steam in 1967 after barely 18 years’ service with British Railways. She hauled the re-opening special on the line in June 1968 having acquired her eye-catching red livery as, at the time, preserved locomotives could not carry BR colour schemes.

The 1949-built locomotive will be in action on all three days of the event which will feature an intensive service of passenger and good trains, selected double-heading, non-stop expresses and other unusual workings. Five engines will be in steam each day with four of the line’s home fleet joining 41241 to give a different combination each day.

Resident motive power will be drawn from centenarian GER Class Y14 No. 564;  Somerset & Dorset 7F No. 53809 dating from 1925; 1957-built BR Standard 4MT No. 76084; plus powerful 2-10-0 locomotives, BR Standard 9F No. 92203 “Black Prince” and War Department No. 90775 “The Royal Norfolk Regiment”.

The North Norfolk’s recently-repainted 4-car suburban set will be amongst 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 make an appearance. Additionally, a mixed train of passenger stock and goods wagons is scheduled to operate each day recapturing an almost-forgotten feature of rural railways.

One, two and three day rover tickets are available for the special event which sees trains running from approximately 9.00am – 6.00pm on Friday and Saturday and until 5.00pm on Sunday.  One day tickets are £22.50 when booked in advance while two days unlimited travel is £40.00 and the full three days will cost just £55.00.

Commercial Manager, Graham Hukins, commented “The Steam Gala delivers over 9 hours of on track entertainment each day so is perfect for photographers, enthusiasts, families and day trippers alike. We are looking forward to welcoming 41241 as she will be a first time visitor to the line and we expect her distinctive red livery to prove popular with visitors.” Full Gala details here.

The gala heralds the start of the North Norfolk Railway’s daily running season which will see steam trains operating every day until 30 October. Full opening dates and details here.