Class 37, D6732, will be in action at the head of the North Norfolk Railway’s diesel services on Saturday 26 March to mark both the locomotive’s 60th Birthday and her return to service following a thorough repaint into the British Railways’ green she carried when she first entered service in March 1962.
The locomotive is one of over 300 English Electric Type 3s delivered between 1960 and 1965 as part of British Railways’ modernisation plan. D6732 was initially allocated to Hull Dairycoates depot and worked passenger and freight trains in the North West for much of her career. In 1996, the locomotive became the first Class 37 to work in preservation when she hauled her first train on the North Norfolk Railway. The type were no strangers to the area with some of D6732’s classmates 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 earnt Class 37s the nickname of “tractors” amongst enthusiasts. On 26 March, the locomotive will be paired with the line’s rake of four “Suburban” coaches dating from the mid-1950s. The carriages have themselves received a refresh over the winter in the line’s works at Weybourne where the Carriage & Wagon team also undertook the required bodywork repairs to D6732 ahead of the arrival specialist contractors from Heritage Painting Limited who carried out the most comprehensive repaint D6732 has received in over a quarter-of-a-century.
Locomotive owner, Alistair Barham, praised the Heritage Painting team. “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 she did when she first turned a wheel six decades ago” he said. “I am delighted with the result and am looking forward passengers being able to enjoy the distinctive sight and sounds of the 60 year old machine.”
On 26 March, a service of steam- and diesel- hauled trains will be in operation with D6732 working the 10.35, 12.15. 14.05 and 15.50 departures from Sheringham and the 11.30, 13.15, 15.05 and 16.30 services from Holt. The line’s great value Day Rover tickets allow unlimited travel all day and passengers booking online in advance receive a generous discount – BOOK NOW.