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10/09/2015

News Release - Issued by North Yorkshire Moors Railway

Farewell Weekend A Chance To Support 'Streamliners' Overhaul

With one of the most iconic steam engines ever to grace Britain’s railways about to be taken off the tracks for overhaul, a new opportunity has been announced to support the cost of this work.
September 19 and 20 marks a farewell weekend at the North Yorkshire Moors Railway for No 60007 Sir Nigel Gresley, one of the last remaining streamlined A4 “Pacific” class locomotives in the world. Only six remain, four of which are based in the UK, two in North America, the rest were scrapped during the 1960s.

Owned and operated since 1966 by the Sir Nigel Gresley Locomotive Trust (SNGLT), Sir Nigel Gresley has been closely associated with the North Yorkshire Moors Railway while running there over the past decade.

If hundreds of railway enthusiasts from across Britain come and support the weekend as is hoped, then the money raised could run into tens of thousands of pounds. That would provide much needed income for the NYMR, the busiest heritage railway in the world. But “Sir Nigel” will also benefit, as £1 in every £5 of all ticket income from the weekend will go towards the cost of the locomotive’s overhaul.
“The reason for our support is two-fold” says NYMR Managing Director, Philip Benham. “It is first and foremost in appreciation of the value to the NYMR of having No 60007 Sir Nigel Gresley on our Railway over the past10 years and an expression of goodwill for the locomotive’s future. Secondly, we are very conscious of the high cost of the overhaul, and the loss of income to the owning Trust as a result of “Sir Nigel” not now performing Royal duties in Scotland (as was first hoped).

Nigel Wilson, Chairman of the Sir Nigel Gresley Locomotive Trust (SNGLT) said:
“We were naturally disappointed at having to decline the opportunity to have the locomotive participate in Royal duties in Scotland, occasions for which the engine is well suited. This would have helped boost our income in readiness for the overhaul, but it became apparent that the amount of paperwork, procedures and inspections involved in order to take the locomotive north, were too numerous to be completed in the time available to make the journey viable for us. The offer of support from the NYMR is very much appreciated and a generous gesture.”

Distinguished by its striking blue paintwork, “Sir Nigel” was built in 1937. She was the 100th engine of the “Pacific” type to be built by the LNER and was named after her designer, the Chief Mechanical Engineer of the London and North Eastern Railway. The A4 “Pacifics” were designed for speed and hauled trains between London and Scotland - fondly referred to as “streamliners” on account of their majestic shape.
“Sir Nigel” is credited with holding the post-war speed steam record after reaching 112 miles per hour with a full train of passengers on May 23, 1959. Three years earlier on June 3, 1956, the locomotive hauled the Royal Train from King’s Cross to York with the Queen on board.

Over the weekend of 19 and 20 September “Sir Nigel” will haul a train of vintage carriages as befits its style and panache, giving passengers an opportunity to experience the thrill, excitement and sheer pleasure of a bygone age. The train will make several trips from Pickering to Grosmont and back.

Throughout the NYMR “Farewell Weekend” stands selling items of Gresley nostalgia will feature at both Pickering and Grosmont stations, including ‘00’ gauge models on sale at Pickering and donated by the late Roger Barker – former Managing Director of the Sir Nigel Gresley Locomotive Trust (SNGLT and ‘keeper’ of the locomotive. Footplate rides and corridor tender access (for over -16s) will be available for purchase from the on-train team on a first-come, first-served basis.

Then at 18.15 on Sunday the 20th, the locomotive will make its final journey from Grosmont station through Grosmont Tunnel to the engine sheds. The overhaul of the locomotive will commence immediately after the “Farewell Weekend”. Work of this kind, which includes a very detailed boiler inspection and repair, can take up to 3 years to complete at an expected cost of £600,000..

Precise details of when the engine will run during its Farewell Weekend can be found at www.nymr.co.uk or by calling Customer Services on 01751 472508.

Anyone wishing to make a personal donation towards the cost of the overhaul or become a Member of the Sir Nigel Gresley Locomotive Trust (SNGLT) can find out more at www.sirnigelgresley.org.uk


ENDS

Issued jointly on behalf of the Sir Nigel Gresley Locomotive Trust and the North Yorkshire Moors Railway.

Notes for Editors
1. Media enquiries about the Farewell Weekend should contact Phil Bustard (NYMR Marketing Support) 07803 161549 or email phil.bustard@nymr.co.uk

2. See below the timetabled operation of “Sir Nigel” during the farewell weekend:
Saturday 19th September
Grosmont 08.50 12.30 17.16
Pickering 10.00 13.40 18.25
Pickering 11.00 14.00
Grosmont 12.05 15.05

Sunday 20th September
Pickering 09.00 13.00 17.05
Grosmont 10.05 14.05 18.10
Grosmont 11.20 15.35 18.15 (Farewell ceremony – south end Grosmont station)