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Passengers welcomed aboard at mid-Norfolk railway winter warmer gala

PUBLISHED: 13:18 30 December 2017 | UPDATED: 13:18 30 December 2017

Lots of train enthusiasts were taking pictures on the platforrm at the Mid Norfolk Railway winter warmer gala. Picture: Ian Burt

Lots of train enthusiasts were taking pictures on the platforrm at the Mid Norfolk Railway winter warmer gala. Picture: Ian Burt

Archant 2017

Families and rail enthusiasts were treated to a special winter’s day out with the mid-Norfolk railway as it opened its carriages for its annual winter gala event.

Lots of train enthusiasts were taking pictures on the platforrm at the Mid Norfolk Railway winter warmer gala. Picture: Ian Burt Lots of train enthusiasts were taking pictures on the platforrm at the Mid Norfolk Railway winter warmer gala. Picture: Ian Burt

The winter warmer diesel gala, held on December 29 and 30, welcomed passengers on board its diesel services from Dereham to Wymondham.

And early risers were even treated to a full English breakfast, on offer on board the morning rail services.

Mid-Norfolk railway general manager, George Saville, said: “The event went really well.

“People were able to come along on the day and buy a ticket, or book in advance.

The Mid Norfolk Railway winter warmer gala. Picture: Ian Burt The Mid Norfolk Railway winter warmer gala. Picture: Ian Burt

“Its been a mixture of families and railway enthusiasts.”

And despite the cold, he added: “Turnout has been good, and we’ve had a reasonable amount of people come along.

“We do tend to hold the event every year - it varies depending on when New Year is.”

Teacher Alex Woodward, 47, brought his eight-year-old son Archie from Northampton.

Lots of train enthusiasts were taking pictures on the platforrm at the Mid Norfolk Railway winter warmer gala. Picture: Ian Burt Lots of train enthusiasts were taking pictures on the platforrm at the Mid Norfolk Railway winter warmer gala. Picture: Ian Burt

He said: “Its a great day out. We’ve let mum go off to a spa for the weekend.

“And its definitely good value for money - I paid £7 for Archie.”

Stuart Lawler, 32, from Scarning, brought six-year-old Harriet and four-year-old Oliver, along with his cousin Paul Southam, 27, and daughter Crystal Constable, aged seven.

Mr Lawler said: “We brought the kids for a day out - and let their mums go off shopping.

The Mid Norfolk Railway winter warmer gala. Picture: Ian Burt The Mid Norfolk Railway winter warmer gala. Picture: Ian Burt

“It was well worth the money. We got roaming train tickets and a full English breakfast. The event is definitely well-organised.”

Read more: All aboard! Polar Express comes to Norfolk for the first time

Julie and Kevin Hawkins, from Aylsham, came to the event after attending a family wedding on the mid-Norfolk railway in June.

Mrs Hawkins, 57, said: “We enjoyed the wedding and thought we’d come along and see it again.

Lots of train enthusiasts were taking pictures on the platforrm at the Mid Norfolk Railway winter warmer gala. Picture: Ian Burt Lots of train enthusiasts were taking pictures on the platforrm at the Mid Norfolk Railway winter warmer gala. Picture: Ian Burt

“We came to my husband’s nephew’s wedding. The ceremony was in Norwich but they had the reception and afternoon tea on the train, which was lovely.”

The restored mid-Norfolk railway has been operating since 1995. It has returned the line, built in the 1840s, to its former glory.

Run by volunteers from the mid-Norfolk Railway Preservation Trust, the line runs services between Yaxham and Dereham, and Dereham and Wymondham.

The first train run between the two stations that year was the first train to use that line since its closure in 1989.

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