8 Norfolk steam trains from the 50s and 60s

PUBLISHED: 14:15 03 December 2020 | UPDATED: 13:24 15 December 2020

BR standard Britannia 7MT No. 70002 Geoffrey Chaucer arrives at London Liverpool Street with the up Broadsman from Norwich. Photo: Amberley Publishing

BR standard Britannia 7MT No. 70002 Geoffrey Chaucer arrives at London Liverpool Street with the up Broadsman from Norwich. Photo: Amberley Publishing

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New book celebrates steam locomotive era in East Anglia and on the East Coast railways

Class B12-3 No. 61572 leaves Gunton on an evening train bound for Cromer and Sheringham, in May 1961. Photo: Amberley PublishingClass B12-3 No. 61572 leaves Gunton on an evening train bound for Cromer and Sheringham, in May 1961. Photo: Amberley Publishing

The 1950s and 1960s was a time of profound cultural and technological transformation, especially on the railways. In the 1950s, railway pride and optimism overcame staff shortages, returning locomotives to pre-war performance and introducing modern BR standard classes. By the 1960s, fiscal efficiency and the dawning diesel era turned pride to neglect of steam; sparkling steel, brass and tallow gave way to dust, rust and flaking paint and heroic workhorses were lost to scrap.

As the mood turned to melancholy, just a few of these great workhorses became pets – polished, loved, and cared for by dedicated railway workers and a growing band of enthusiastic volunteers.

A new book has just been published looking at the east side of the country, including Norfolk and Suffolk, charts the era trackside, at busy stations, and in and around depots, revealing the evolving mood. It has around 180 photos and is sure to delight anyone who loves the ‘golden era’ of steam.

East Anglia and the East Coast Railways The Late 1940s to Late 1960s Brian Reading and Ian Reading, £14.99 from Amberley Publishing.

Nicely cleaned, B12/3 No.61577 is London-bound at Trowse in the 1950s.During this era, many East Anglian engines were double manned.Sharing a locomotive between two drivers generated a culture of pride. Photo: Amberley PublishingNicely cleaned, B12/3 No.61577 is London-bound at Trowse in the 1950s.During this era, many East Anglian engines were double manned.Sharing a locomotive between two drivers generated a culture of pride. Photo: Amberley Publishing

Gresley B17 No.61609 Quidenham at Norwich, probably c.1950.Quidenham is one of the few B17s seen post-war in LNER lined green.The locomotive has been released after bringing a through train in from Cromer. Photo: Amberley PublishingGresley B17 No.61609 Quidenham at Norwich, probably c.1950.Quidenham is one of the few B17s seen post-war in LNER lined green.The locomotive has been released after bringing a through train in from Cromer. Photo: Amberley Publishing

The new book on railways across the east. Photo: Amberley PublishingThe new book on railways across the east. Photo: Amberley Publishing

Class L1 No. 67788 double-heading with B17 No. 61637 Thorpe Hall leaving Norwich, 3 March 1951. The 2:10 pm. Norwich to Cambridge service was often double-headed because of an unbalanced locomotive working. Photo: Amberley PublishingClass L1 No. 67788 double-heading with B17 No. 61637 Thorpe Hall leaving Norwich, 3 March 1951. The 2:10 pm. Norwich to Cambridge service was often double-headed because of an unbalanced locomotive working. Photo: Amberley Publishing

Class B12-3 No. 61572 rests at Norwich ready for its next turn, a local service to Cromer, May 1961. Photo: Amberley PublishingClass B12-3 No. 61572 rests at Norwich ready for its next turn, a local service to Cromer, May 1961. Photo: Amberley Publishing

Austerity No. 90480 at Norwich. The locomotive is fitted with a Stratford shed plate. Photo: Amberley PublishingAusterity No. 90480 at Norwich. The locomotive is fitted with a Stratford shed plate. Photo: Amberley Publishing

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