A famous face from British railway history will be making a return to Norfolk early next year.
The London and North Eastern Railway's steam locomotive Mayflower was a prominent feature on the railways serving stations across Yorkshire. Originally built in 1948 it was based at the Hull Botanic Gardens Depot before it was moved to the nearby Hull Dairycoates Depots and then the Low Moor Depot in Bradford.
Times change in the railway landscape and, like many steam locomotives in the UK, the Mayflower was withdrawn and replaced with a diesel model in September 1967. Since then it has been passed from owner to owner and is currently based at the North Norfolk Railway. Next year represents a significant milestone as the old locomotive comes out of retirement.
On February 11th, 2015 Mayflower will be hauling its first mainline special for two decades when it weaves its way through the Norfolk and Suffolk countryside once again. Organised by Cathedrals Express operator Steam Dreams, and Mayflower owner David Buck, the service will set off from Norwich.
Passing through Norfolk it will make its way to Ipswich and Colchester before making its final stop at Windsor. There passengers will be able to explore the famous royal town and castle. Mayflower will head back to London before it is replaced by a diesel engine to take passengers back to East Anglia.
Speaking to EDP24, Mr Buck said: "This will be a very special day for me and it’s particularly fitting that we will be stopping at Ipswich on our way to Windsor, where I now live.”
A ride on the famous Mayflower could be the perfect Christmas present for any steam train enthusiast. Tickets from the trip cost between £99 and £239 with people being able to choose from standard right up to first class.
They can be purchased by calling 01483 209888 or by visiting www.cathedralsexpress.co.uk.