Steam memories on track

THE invention of the steam engine 200 years ago pulled the crowds to the East Anglian Railway Museum.The museum also took the opportunity to commemorate 100 years of train history at the museum, which is based at Chappel railway station.

THE invention of the steam engine 200 years ago pulled the crowds to the East Anglian Railway Museum.

The museum also took the opportunity to commemorate 100 years of train history at the museum, which is based at Chappel railway station.

Visitors to the "spanning the century" event were able to enjoy unlimited train rides on the museum's restored vintage train, the 1893 Great Eastern railway brake coach, coal truck and cattle van, which was pulled by a 0-4-0 saddle tank locomotive number 11 built in 1905.

There was also the opportunity to have a ride on the museum's 1960s diesel, which pulled a diesel multiple unit from the 1950s.


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In addition visitors could ride on a restored 1890s hand cart, as featured in the Buster Keaton and Great St Trinian Train Robbery films.

The museum's operational signal box from the 20th century was in operation, with a signalman in full costume on hand to explain the workings of the signal box and the safe operation of trains.

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Displays of "trains, toys, trinkets and treasures" were set up in the goods transfer shed, including a Hornby Dublo tinplate railway, vintage toys, lead soldiers and railway memorabilia such as oil cans and tools used by railwaymen.

People could even climb on board the cab of a steam engine and have the controls explained and go on board a restored guards van.

Interpreters were around to talk about the workings of the railway, the role of the driver, fireman and guard, and to explain how goods were moved around the country.

Mark House, one of the museum volunteers, said: "It's gone really, really well. We have had quite a lot of visitors in between showers of rain. We still managed to run the trains."

He said visitors had included families with children and railway enthusiasts.

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