A small piece of Railway history has been made at the Mid-Norfolk Railway as a Pacer Class 142 conducted a test run at the railway as part of the preparation for the reopening this year.
The run by the Class 142 unit, 142061 is believed to be the first ever running of a Class 142 in East Anglia, as the class did not see service on the mainline in the region. 142061 is one of the two members of the class that were acquired by the MNR last year for future service on the line.
Running from Dereham to Wymondham Abbey halt and back was both a test of the unit’s systems following routine maintenance and servicing and also the opportunity for MNR Drivers and Guards to become qualified to operate this new class of unit on the railway.
The test run was carried out on Friday 16 April and the call for working members to support the test run by 142061 was met with an enthusiastic response, with the required slots to operate the signalling and level crossings being filled very quickly.
George Saville, MNR General Manger, said: “This was an important day for the railway as we work towards reopening and I would like to thank all our working members who made the day possible. The Pacer performed extremely well, and our staff passed their assessments with flying colours. These Pacer units are a valuable addition to the railway’s fleet as they provide us with units that are renowned for their low operating costs which is ideal for our mid-week low season timetable.”
Both the Class 142 and the Class 144 Pacer that the MNR also owns have very large windows that provide excellent panoramic views of the Norfolk countryside and make for a light airy interior for passengers.
The MNR will be making a full announcement of the planned reopening for public passenger service soon. This will include ticketing arrangements and the programme of this year’s special events, including the visit of Flying Scotsman. The announcement will be published following further test running, training and the completion of some routine track maintenance work.