Recent discussions between the Gresley Society Trust (the locomotive’s owners) the North Norfolk Railway and the Great Central Railway have taken place with a view to agreeing the most suitable operational base for the locomotive.
These discussions have been extremely cordial and all parties wish to safeguard the locomotive’s operational future and help maintain its commercial appeal. In order to best facilitate these objectives it has been agreed that the locomotive will change its operational base to the North Norfolk Railway as from January 2018, where it will continue to have the benefit of regular steamings.
No 1744 (formerly BR No 69523) has been associated closely with the Great Central Railway for over forty years and it is agreed by all parties that future short-term guest visits to the Great Central Railway will take place after the locomotive’s next General Overhaul, due in 2019.
Philip Benham, Gresley Society chairman, said:
“We are delighted to have reached agreement for the North Norfolk Railway to become the future home for the N2. At the same time we are very conscious of the great debt of gratitude we owe to the Great Central for the care and attention they have bestowed on our unique locomotive over such a long period. I hope that once the forthcoming overhaul is complete it won’t be long before the loco visits Loughborough again.
“Meanwhile we look forward to working with the North Norfolk Railway, and to an exciting future for the oldest Gresley locomotive in existence – including, of course, being reunited with NNR’s resident Gresley ‘quad-art’ set and the centenary year in 2021.”
Hugh Harkett, North Norfolk Railway, Managing Director said:
“We have always enjoyed having the N2 on the many occasions she has come to the North Norfolk. As a permanent resident at Weybourne we shall nurture her stay here even more and, as Philip Benham has said, she will be a perfect match for the Quad-Arts and indeed the Kings Cross Suburban rakes”.
Richard Patching, Great Central Railway Chief Executive said:
“It’s been a great privilege for GCR to have enjoyed the N2 for over forty years as an operational loco, and we’d wish that to be placed on record. The prospect of being able to see it here again in the future, that it remains in good hands, and that it will continue as a working loco beyond its centenary are all reasons why the three parties agreed readily to this proposal.”
Issued on behalf of the The Gresley Society Trust (www.gresley.org)
For more information, please contact: Ian MacCabe (firstname.lastname@example.org; 07583-988406)