At a time when some heritage railways are struggling due to low (or zero) visitor numbers, and are also concerned about a possible future lack of coal, the Mid-Norfolk Railway has looked to the future and announced the appointment of Tony Dunford as the railway’s first head of refurbishment.
No stranger to the railway, Tony has been working at Dereham for Heritage Painting on the various contracts they were awarded by the railway and also the resident Stratford 47 Group for much of the year.
Prior to working for Heritage Painting, Tony was well known at the East Lancashire Railway, where, after first joining as a volunteer in 1989, he spent 11 years from 2007 working his way up to become their foreman of carriage and wagon restoration.
Mid-Norfolk Railway general manager George Saville said: “We are very pleased to welcome Tony to the railway as a full-time staff member. He brings great expertise and knowledge and it means that the painting of our rolling stock will now be completed in house by our volunteers and Tony. It also brings a greater degree of flexibility to our future refurbishment projects and opens up opportunities for the railway going forward.”
Tony’s first project for the railway will be joining the team that is conducting the lottery-funded Mk1 carriage restoration. There are two further coaches that are nearing completion, for which he will also be carrying out the painting, and then he will turn his attention to the painting of the MNR’s Class 101 DMU, once the external bodywork refurbishment is completed. The DMU will remain in its classic British Railways green livery with yellow whiskers.
Speaking after his appointment Tony said: “I am very happy to join the railway following my move to Norfolk and I am looking forward to leading the refurbishment of the railway’s rolling stock as the railway continues to develop in the years to come.”