Golden age of steam to return to region’s railways on February 11 as Mayflower hauls mainline special

Mayflower at the North Norfolk Railway with David Buck on the footplate.

Mayflower at the North Norfolk Railway with David Buck on the footplate. - Credit: Archant

The clock will be turned back more than 60 years in February next year when LNER steam locomotive Mayflower pulls a train on the Great Eastern Main Line.

Mayflower is now based at the North Norfolk Railway at Sheringham and will be hauling its first mainline special for two decades on February 11.

Starting from Norwich, it will pick up passengers at Ipswich and Colchester before continuing to Windsor allowing passengers to explore the royal town and castle.

Mayflower will pull the train back to London before it is replaced by a diesel for the return to East Anglia.

The trip has been organised by Cathedrals Express operator Steam Dreams, and the engine itself is owned by David Buck who was born and brought up in Ipswich.

Mr Buck said: “I’ve been passionate about steam trains all my life and having grown up in Ipswich I spent much of my childhood at the station, learning about the engines. 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.”

Marcus Robertson, chairman of Steam Dreams, said; “We are thrilled that Mayflower will be hauling The Royal Norfolkman on its first mainline venture in over two decades.

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“It promises to be a hugely exciting and much anticipated trip for everyone involved, from all the volunteers at the North Norfolk Railway, where it is now kept, passengers, onlookers and of course David Buck who is realising his lifelong ambition.”

Tickets for the trip, costing between £99 and £239, are available by calling 01483 209888 or visit

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