Sunday 3 April 2016

Mid Norfolk Railway Diesel Gala 2016 Special

Last April I spent a few chilly hours camped out at Kimberly Park station on the Mid Norfolk Railway observing going ons at the 2015 Diesel Gala. It was good but not quite Carling as the saying goes. However for the 2016 gala it wasn't just Carling but bordering on the Champagne!

Undoubtedly the star attraction was 41001, the newly restored prototype HST, which is the only one of her type in the world. Apart from the bizarre front end the other endearing feature lies within, an original Paxman Valenta engine, whch is a Beethoven symphony to those of us who remember the original HST soundtrack before new engines were fitted. And speaking of soundtracks 3 Class 50's attending wasn't to be sneezed at either.

I had aleady arranged to attend the event on the Saturday with good friend Tim Miller to ride the trains, but as the weather Friday was good I returned to Kimberly to do the photography in advance, far from the madding crowd. However, thanks to a camera malfunction I had to turn to videos, which turned out to be a good thing. There will be a zillion pics floating around of the event, but Kimberly Park is a superb place for videoing, as the locos have to slow down on the approach to the crossing before getting the green flag, which means that they are on full acceleration as they pass through the station. Tim and I returned there yesterday evening to catch the last trains through, the climax being 41001 at full revs without its usual Mark 3 coaches pulling a mix including Mark 1's and the 3 Class 50's on the rear. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the show. Turn the volume up to 11 - that's louder than 10!

Thanks should go to Mid Norfolk Railway for organising this superb event, and all the dedicated nutters enthusiasts who spend hour after hour preserving these magnificent locos for our enjoyment. Highlight of the weekend for me was sitting right behind 50007 yesterday listening to that wonderful soundtrack, and seeing a stoat chase a rabbit at Kimberly on Friday - it's not just all about trains you know!! A plea to MNR for next year - how about Hastings Diesel 1001?

PS If anyone has problems watching the vids let me know and I'll post the individual links.


  1. Wonderful set of vids. I could listen to them again and again and again... Well you get the idea, thanks for these. John D.

  2. Andrew Kleissner4 April 2016 at 09:00

    Very interesting ... mind you, I did have to think a bit when you said "the Class 41" as my mind went, not to the HST prototype, but to the d600 "Warship" class. None of them exist any more (and I never saw one) so that would have been a real "coup"!

    I love the way that the owners have painted up the carriages to match - that really "makes it". And, as you say, the sound is great. Mind you, having been brought up on the Midland main line in the 60s, I like the "Peak", too.

    1. Good grief, Andrew, the unique I can find and capture, the totally extinct takes a little longer!

  3. Andrew Kleissner5 April 2016 at 13:14

    Well, you do very well! (I would put in a "smilie" here if I had one to hand).