The NNR's general manager Geoff Gowing said: "This is the biggest event we have ever hosted and we couldn't let the 50th anniversary pass. We are extremely lucky to be able to have five unique visiting locomotives and the February 27 will be operating will be devoted to the operation of the visiting engines".
The re-commissioning of Holt signal box (which will be opened just a few weeks before the gala) will greatly enhance the operation flexibility of the intensive timetable that will be in use over the two weekends, which will feature a demolition-train and the newly restored, award-winning Gresley 'Quad-Arts'. In total, four passenger trains will be in use.
The NNR's newly launched 'North Norfolkman' dining train will also be in use on the evening of February 28 hauled by visiting 'B1' 'Mayflower'. Advanced booking is highly recommended.
Additionally, there will be special vintage bus tours of sections of the closed M&GN in Norfolk with renowned railway author Adrian Vaughan as guide. These tours will operate on Sundays only, with the morning tour covering the line towards Norwich and the afternoon over the route towards Lynn; heading as far as Massingham.
Geoff Gowing added: "It's unlikely that a steam gala will be held on a similar scale for the foreseeable future, so we urge enthusiasts to come and see this unique spectacle".