This year I brought myself a Christmas present, a trip on the Bure Valley Railway Santa Special. My train from Wroxham was double headed by Spitfire and Wroxham Broad.
When the train arrived at Aylsham, Santa appeared in a sleigh pulled by reindeer. They were discretely assisted by John of Gaunt. The BVR certainly put on a good Santa Special. The children got to see Santa, they were entertained by Dave Doughnut, there was a colouring room, everyone (kids and parents) got a drink and a snack, and we all got a good ride on the train. The children were excited, happy and tired all at the same time. (A bit like me when I visit a railway 🙂 )
Going on a Santa Special may sound like a strange idea but I really fancied a ride on a train! It was a good day out. I got to see four locos in steam. It was the first time I’d seen one of the Indian Railway ‘ZB’ class inspired locos in steam. Spitfire is big, 28 feet long, 12½ tons in weight and it sounded great.
Wroxham Broad in unlined Caledonian Sky Blue. In the background of the photo you can see an the old concrete store next to the standard gauge line.
The other Vale of Rheidol Railway inspired loco, John of Gaunt. I think I prefer the lined black livery to the unlined light blue, but that’s just my personal preference. (Mark Timothy was in steam too heading the other train, but I didn’t get a picture).
The BVR’s Hudson-Hunslet was performing shunting duties at Alysham.
The workshops were open and were looking very ‘spick and span’.
Recently refurbished Blickling Hall, the BVR’s other loco based on the Indian Railway ‘ZB’ class, looked fantastic. The deep blue of the Great Eastern Railway livery is lovely.
What a great way to start the holiday season. Merry Christmas to you!