It is just over a year since we steamed 76084 at Hepscott then later saw it travel down the A1 on a road transporter. it is coming up to 11 months since it first entered service on the North Norfolk Railway. In that time it has already given pleasure to many people.
Recently the NNR revealed that it carried 157,800 passengers last year. 76084 must have hauled a fair number of them. It ran for part of the summer holidays, in the autumn gala and the Santa Specials plus ordinary trains in between. Usually 76084 was pulling four trains a day. It was in service on 65 days. That must take it passenger total clearly into tens of thousands. Most passengers do look at the locomotive on their train. So, many families, holidaymakers, couples, coach parties and enthusiasts could see that it was 76084 giving them a pleasant ride.
This year 76084 steamed on 12 days at the East Lancs Railway. My visits showed it was largely the general public travelling plus a fair number of enthusiasts. Add several more thousands to the numbers hauled by 76084.
I bumped into a NNR volunteer at another line recently. He said 76084 had steamed for 48 days so far this year at the NNR. I notice that it has been the rostered steam locomotive all this week on the yellow timetable with four round trips a day. Add thousands more passengers to the total, probably into five figures again.
For the general public 76084 is a “proper” engine, that is it’s a locomotive and tender. Its proportions look good. It may not be green, red or blue but it does look smart in its lined BR black livery with early emblem on the tender. It steams well too as any ride behind it or youtube video shows.
Our locomotive has been enjoyed by holidaymakers and residents of East Anglia, people living in the North West and in October anyone in central England will have the chance to enjoy a ride behind 76084.
When we spent years restoring 76084 we knew we’d be delighted when it steamed and that it would be an ideal heritage line locomotive. But I wondered if we realised how many thousands would travel behind it -I certainly didn’t. We are well into tens of thousands and haven’t even completed a year in service. Meanwhile 76084 continues to please its passengers…