Steam locomotive back in Suffolk for anniversary trips
- Credit: Allison Balaam/iWitness
The 175th anniversary of the opening of the rail line through Ipswich will be marked by a weekend of special steam trains in August.
Steam Dreams is bringing its flagship locomotive Mayflower - owned by former Ipswich schoolboy David Buck - to the region for a series of special trips on the weekend of August 14 and 15.
There will be daytime return trips from Colchester to Bury St Edmunds through Ipswich - while in the evenings there will be special dining trips to Cambridge and Ely, as well as to Norwich and Great Yarmouth.
Mr Buck said: "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.
"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.
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"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 Ed Crosthwaite has been working on the programme with Steam Dreams.
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He said: "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.
“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."
Passengers interested in buying tickets on the EUR Celebrations for themselves, friends or family, can travel in one of four classes.
Prices start from £39 per person in Standard Class, where passengers are seated at tables of four.
Dining seats cost from £89. Tickets can be bought from Steam Dreams through its website or by calling 01483 209888.