A familiar face is set to return to north Norfolk after over 50 years.
The 1912-built Y14 class engine steam train has not graced the region's tracks since it was withdrawn from 1962 but a successful fundraising programme will see it return once again. A public appeal was launched in September 2013 to raise an extra £100,000 to put the finishing touches on a major overhaul of the engine and the target has now been reached, EDP24 reports.
A rare locomotive, the Y14 is the only one of its kind still to be in working order. It was used as a passenger service along the Norfolk coast ferrying travellers between the likes of Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft and Norwich. It was saved from being scrapped by the North Norfolk Railway in 1962 and has recently been the subject of a £350,000 renovation project.
The engine is currently in Bury, Lancashire, where the final touches are being made before it makes the long journey back to north Norfolk. Work has included a full refurbishment of the loco's boiler as well as an overhaul of its mechanics. Organisers hope that it will be ready in time for the Poppy Line's steam gala on March 6th to 8th.
Neil Sharpe, chairman of the Midland and Great North Joint Railway Society which was responsible for the appeal, praised the public for their support and the 3,000 members of the club.
He told the news provider: "The support for the appeal has been fantastic. Raising the six figure sum has been a hard task indeed, but the response by both our membership and by supporters of our plucky little engine has been phenomenal.
Y14 class engines were first built in 1883 and were the brainchild of designer T.W. Worsdell. A total of 289 were made until production stopped in 1913 and now only the north Norfolk Y14 remains.