Locomotive No. 20227 has arrived back at the North Norfolk Railway in readiness for the return of the line’s popular Cromer dining trains which will run on selected Wednesdays and Thursdays from May to September and which see the “North Norfolkman” dining train run on the mainline from Sheringham to Cromer and back in addition to making a return trip on the heritage railway’s tracks to Holt.
The locomotive dates from 1968 when it was the last of the type built. In all, 228 Class 20s were constructed by English Electric from 1957 until 1968 making them one of the most successful early diesels. They were used extensively on freight trains seeing only occasional use on passenger work – sometimes for summertime specials to seaside resorts such as Skegness.
The engine is now owned by the Class 20 Locomotive Society which has saved three of the heritage diesels and arrived at Sheringham by road after almost a year away from the North Norfolk undertaking mainline work and then visiting the Epping Ongar Railway for six months visit to assist with their trains. “Sherlock Holmes” is no stranger to special trains hauled a number of commemorative trains for London Underground in the mid-2000s and sports the eye-catching maroon livery carried by Metropolitan Railway locomotives.
Commercial Manager Graham Hukins said, “We are very pleased to have ‘Sherlock Holmes’ back on the line. The special trains to Cromer need a locomotive at each end as it’s not possible to move an engine from one end to the other at Cromer Station so 20227 will head the trains as they leave our tracks and head across Sheringham Level crossing and onto Network Rail’s Bittern Line while a steam engine will be at the back ready for the return journey.
“20227’s use won’t be limited to the Cromer trips though, she will also be in use at some of our special events this summer and will also work alongside the line’s steam fleet on a number of other days,” he added.
Full details of the line’s services, including the special dining trains can be found at www.nnrailway.co.uk/dining-trains.