Guest Locomotives, Guest Beers and Guest Bands line-up for Rails & Ales 2024


There’s a fantastic event brewing at the County’s leading heritage railway on 7, 8 and 9 June as the North Norfolk Railway is set to stage Rails & Ales 2024! The popular event will feature 10 historic steam and diesel locomotives, including 5 that are visiting the line for the long weekend. In addition there will be over 40 local ales to sample across the lines stations and on board the trains plus a dozen or so Norfolk ciders as well as live music performances from fabulous local bands. Tickets include unlimited travel on an intensive train service allowing passengers hop on and off to experience travel aboard a wide variety of trains and discover a different range of Norfolk tipples at each of the stations.


On the tracks, visiting diesel locomotives Class 50, 50008 “Thunderer” and Class 33, 33012 “Lt. Jenny Lewis RN” are anticipated to arrive at the Poppy Line as part of a Hanson & Hall railtour on 6 June with tickets available for those who wish to join at Norwich and take a very unusual trip to Sheringham – full details at


Another guest will be Class 25 diesel engine D7659 which is owned by the Waterman Railway Heritage Trust and which arrived today (Friday 24 May) by low-loader from her usual base at Peak Rail in Derbyshire. Steam locomotive No 22 which is visiting NNR for the 2024 season will be making her first gala appearance on the line – the engine was built in 1956 and is usually based on the Appleby-Frodingham Railway at Scunthorpe Steelworks.  Plans are afoot for a further guest diesel to add to the line-up with the NNR hoping to be able to announce details in the next week or so.


The Poppy Line’s home-based fleet will also play a major role in the three-day gala which feature an intensive timetable from around 9.00am to 9.00pm on Friday 7 and Saturday 8 and between 9.20am and 6.30pm on Sunday 9. The line’s smallest working steam locomotive, the diminutive “Wissington” will be amongst those working and will be paired with the line’s train of magnificently restored Victorian carriages. Resident heritage diesels Class 37 D6732 and Class 31 D5631 will be hauling trains of 1950s and 60s carriages with Class 08 shunter D3935 making a very rare appearance working a passenger train. The line-up is completed by one of the line’s heritage railcars which will include award winning driving trailer M56182 which returned to service last year some 35 years after she last carried passengers.


Further details, including timetables and brief details of each of the locomotives can be found at


Away from the tracks, ales will feature at each of the line’s three stations and on certain trains with Sheringham and Holt Stations both having a selection of bottled beers and ciders on offer, while further brews and other on board refreshments will be available from the buffet cars on selected trains. Weybourne Station will host a real ale bar, giving visitors the opportunity to hop on and off the many trains and discover around 50 beers & ciders across the three stations on each day. The local focus extends to live music at Weybourne with live bands from the area including Bloke & Burd and The Pumas performing at certain times; has further details and timetables for all three days.


Interim General Manager, Graham Hukins, said “We are very grateful to the owners for making all the visiting engines available for the event – neither 50008 and 33012 locomotive has hauled passenger trains on the Poppy Line before so we are pleased to be able to offer this unique opportunity to enthusiasts, local residents and holidaymakers alike.


“The Rails & Ales Gala promises to celebrate diesel and steam power alike, giving visitors a host of opportunities see and ride on the wide variety of the trains that will be running with almost 12 hours of on track entertainment on Friday and Saturday and 9 on Sunday. Variety is also the keyword when it comes to the “Ales” part of the event as we celebrate Norfolk talent both in terms of the breweries represented and the music throughout the weekend” he added.


Following the event, the Poppy Line’s popular heritage trains run daily throughout the summer – full details of the event other services can be found at