Another boost for railway

Just Regional
Apr 22, 2020 2 mins read

The North Norfolk Railway has received another boost after the Midland and Great Northern Joint Railway Society bought another of its units.

The sale of the NNR’s Eastern Region Class 101 Met Cam diesel multiple unit is part of the package of support which society trustees have made available to the railway, designed to bring a much-needed cash injection at a time when trains cannot run.

The purchase of Hunslet 0-6-0ST Ring Haw was announced two weeks ago.

Chairman Neil Sharpe said: “We are pleased that the NNR Board has now agreed the sale. Together with other elements in the support package, the society’s trustees believe this will contribute significantly to securing the future of the railway during this ‘down time’ and as it plans for the restoration of services once the emergency passes.”

The Class 101 was one of the largest and most successful of the first-generation diesel units. They were certainly the longest lived.  More than 600 vehicles in all were built at Metropolitan Cammell’s Washwood Heath plant in Birmingham between 1956 and 1959. The final five units continued in service until the end of 2003.

Their close association with East Anglia came in their final two decades, with two and three car sets based at Norwich and Cambridge and were regularly used on the line to Sheringham.

There are 46 vehicles still around, with five on the NNR: Eastern Set E51228, E56062; NRM-owned LMR set M51188, M56362; and spare DBMS M51192.

Although called a “set”, E51228 and E56062 were only paired up when they arrived at the NNR in 2003. Trailer E56062 entered traffic in August 1957, spending much of its life in the north-east. It later moved to Norwich and finally to Manchester. Power car 51228 began life in Scotland where it remained for 30 years before moving south of the border to the Midlands and finally to the north-west.

The set was a feature on the NNR from 2004, regularly covering between 5,000 and 10,000 miles per year. Initially carrying BR corporate blue livery, it received BR green livery in 2010 and both cars were “back dated” to near original, pre-refurbished internal condition.

It was taken out of service between 2013 and 2017 to receive major works but came back into service in 2018 and since then has shared services with its sister set.

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