4th August 2020
The future of Mid-Norfolk Railway resident class 31 locomotive, 31255 has been secured for the railway following its purchase by several MNR members for use on the railway.
The purchase of 31255 has been agreed with the previous owner, Harry Needle of the Harry Needle Railroad Company and means the locomotive will, once restored be used on the railway. Restoration work has immediately begun on the locomotive following its arrival at Dereham from long term storage on sidings at Hardingham station on the MNR.
The first step of the process is a thorough examination and assessment. A plan of works will then be drawn up which will see the mechanical and electrical systems restored first, followed by the bodywork, before ultimately the restoration will be completed by deciding on a which livery the engine will carry.
The immediate aim is to have the engine restored to a standard that it can be used in service safely for the 2021 running season at the MNR. The full restoration will however be a more long term project.
The group of members have bought the locomotive as the class 31s were synonymous with the railway’s history for over 60 years. As such the MNR will once again see class 31 hauled passenger trains in the future on a regular basis.
Charlie Robinson the Chairman of the MNR Preservation Trust said, “This is yet another important and exciting development for the railway in this our 25th Anniversary. The railway trust council and the membership are extremely pleased that some members have secured this locomotive for long term use on the railway and it will make an important addition to our mission of celebrating the railway heritage of East Anglia.”