Visitors to the North Norfolk Railway on Saturday 19 February will have a chance to drive the line’s flagship steam locomotive No 92203 “Black Prince” at Sheringham station as part of a day being showcasing the powerful engine and raising money for her upkeep.

Mark Powley, Promoter of the Friends of Black Prince – the engine’s very own supporters’ club – is expecting the driving tasters on Saturday 19 to be particularly popular. “It’s not often that you get the chance to drive a heavyweight steam engine,” he said. “Participants must be aged 18 or over, physically fit and we ask for a donation of at least £5 which will go towards the cost of her next overhaul which is due in a couple of years and may cost  well over £250,000” he explained. For families with children, there will be the chance to visit the footplate of the engine at Sheringham Station. The engine will be on show from 10.40 until 3.00.

The locomotive, which dates from 1959, is also scheduled to be working the line’s half-term services on Thursday 17 and Friday 18 February while passengers travelling on Sunday 20 will also have the chance to see the 140-ton engine as she will be hauling a private train for the friends’ group, while public trains are worked by the railway’s oldest working locomotive No 564, now 110 years old.

Half-term sees public steam and heritage diesel trains operate between Sheringham and Holt between 10.00am and 3.00pm everyday until 20 February. Tickets are valid for unlimited travel all day and children receive an activity booklet while for adults there’s a passenger information sheet highlighting items of interest and things to discover at the line’s three stations.  Full details including times and how to book can be found at www.nnrailway.co.uk and passengers booking in advance will enjoy special, discounted fares.

“Black Prince” is one of five magnificent, restored steam engines currently in working order at the North Norfolk Railway and after half-term will be taking her turn hauling services throughout the 2022 season which sees trains run at weekends in March before the line’s daily service, which operates from 1 April to 30 October, commences.