Labour of love wins two awards

Just Regional
Feb 16, 2024 2 mins read

A unique driving coach from a 1958 railcar that entered service at the North Norfolk Railway late last year following a nine-and-a-half-year restoration has won a pair of awards.

The team that returned M56182 to her former glory were highly commended at the national Heritage Railway Association Awards – an award which came hot on the heels of winning a silver in the Railcar Association’s annual awards.

The yearly event celebrates the best achievements of the HRA’s 300 members, which range from lengthy heritage railways operating historic steam locomotives to short electric tramways, miniature lines, tramways, cliff railways, railway preservation groups and related museums.

Graham Hukins, North Norfolk Railway commercial manager, said: “We are very proud of the team that have restored M56182 and are delighted that their efforts have been recognised on a national stage.”

The restoration was a labour of love for father and son Paul and Chris Moxon, of Beeston Regis, who carried out the work in their spare time.

The Class 104 driving coach was reintroduced to service on the Poppy Line last September – 36 years after she last carried passengers – and is scheduled to be a regular performer on the railway, running between Holt and Sheringham this season.

Built in 1958 at the Birmingham Railway Carriage and Wagon Company she was part of the British Railways’ modernisation plan that saw the construction of diesel trains to take over from steam.

The meticulous restoration has seen the coach restored to close to her original condition, complete with varnished woodwork in the passenger saloons and salvaged seats .

Her frames have been overhauled, the wheels refurbished and rusty bodywork cut out and replaced prior to repainting in the original green livery, with distinctive painted “whiskers” which were a modern touch.

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