To celebrate the 175th anniversary of the opening of the Eastern Union Railway, Steam Dreams are running nine trips from Colchester and Ipswich on the 14th and 15th August 2021.
61306 Mayflower, an LNER B1 locomotive, will haul the tours as part of the anniversary.
Three trips from Colchester will operate on the 14th August 2021, departing at 08:10, 11:10 and 14:10, and give passengers a trip back in time. Passengers in Pullman Style Dining will enjoy a Champagne brunch on the two-morning trains or a Champagne cream tea on the afternoon trip.
The train will take passengers on the 175-year-old line to Bury St Edmunds where the train reverses to take passengers on the return trip to Colchester.
An evening dining train will depart Colchester at 18:10, calling at Ipswich at 18:35, where passengers can enjoy a three-course meal whilst steaming through Bury St Edmunds, Newmarket and Cambridge to Ely.
Once again, on Sunday 15th August, tours will depart Colchester at 08:30, 10:30, 12:30 and 14:30 with dining and non-dining classes available.
A dining service will depart Colchester at 18:00 whilst steaming to Norwich and return via Stowmarket.
Passengers wishing to book tickets for these services can do so via the Steam Dreams website and are available for £39 per person, Pullman Style Dining tickets are available for just £89 per person.
Steam Dreams Chairman and owner of B1 Mayflower, David Buck commented: ‘We are delighted to be able to bring this special event to passengers in Essex and Suffolk, so they too can be part of this historic occasion and celebration of railway engineering.’ He added: ‘The interest and enthusiasm from passengers to experience the sights, sounds and smells of a steam train as it thunders through the countryside at speeds of up to 75mph is wonderful. It is a privilege to be part of this event and I am delighted that Steam Dreams, with the help of Network Rail, have been able to make it happen.’
Heritage Railway volunteer and local rail enthusiast, Edmund Crosthwaite, who has been working on the programme with Steam Dreams, added: ‘I remember as a child attending the EUR 150th anniversary celebrations in 1996, which was my first experience of seeing steam running on the mainline.” He added: “It encouraged me to get involved in heritage railways in my teens and ultimately to join Network Rail as a career. I want to recreate that for the 175th anniversary of the EUR and help inspire a whole new generation of rail enthusiasts.’
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