MID NORFOLK RAILWAY 2012
It was in 1845 that The Norfolk Railway and Lynn and Dereham Railway was authorised to build lines to Dereham. The line from Dereham to Wymondham opened in 1847, with the line to King's Lynn opening in 1848. In 1949 The Eastern Counties Railway leased the Norfolk Railway, and the ECR became part of the Great Eastern Railway in 1862. The lines became part of LNER in the 1923 grouping.
The last steam-hauled passenger service took place in 1955. In 1964 the passenger service between Dereham and Wells-Next-The-Sea was withdrawn, and the track north of Fakenham was lifted. In the following year the Dereham to Wymondham line was singled, and was finally closed to passengers in 1969. Freight services continued until 1989.
The Mid-Norfolk Railway Preservation Trust was established in 1995 with the aim of buying and restoring the then-disused line between the Norfolk market towns of Dereham and Wymondham. The line extends for 17.5 miles through central Norfolk making it one of the longest preserved railways in the UK. The line is operational between Dereham and Wymondham, and the trust owns the disused northern section from Dereham as far as County School. The line is intact (although derelict) as far as North Elmham, and a further mile of track will need to be re-laid in order to reach County School. The long-term aim is to reach as far as Fakenham.
The outside of the restored Dereham Station, which opened in 1847.
The inside of Dereham Station is nicely restored.
It takes the form of a corridor leading to the platform, with a tea room on the right at the far end.
No steam was running in April 2012, but two diesel locos top
and tailed the train service.
This is Class 50 diesel loco 50019 "Ramilles". It entered service with BR in 1968 and was withdrawn in 1990.
Bought by the Class 50 Association, it was first on the Spa Valley Railway before going to the Mid Norfolk in 1999.
Level Crossing at Norwich Road, Dereham.
This crossing is not presently in regular use, but is used occasionally to move rolling stock.
The Mid Norfolk heritage railway plans to extend their service northwards soon, so it will become used more often.
The main platform at Dereham. This is the only platform used by passengers.
Class 47 diesel locomotive 47596, which is named "Aldeburgh
Festival". It was built by Brush Sulzer in 1966
and was withdrawn from service in 2002. It was subsequently acquired by the Stratford 47 Group.
Seen from the platform, this is the restored signal box with
"parked" Class 101 DMU.
The box was formerly the Stratford Southern, and included the levers and frame when donated. Restoration began in 2001.
Another view of the main platform at Dereham.
The line was singled by BR in 1965. The station has been restored although the platform shown above is not in use.
The level crossing at Yaxham.
Rebuilding work is in progress at Thuxton station.
Dereham-bound platform at Thuxton.
Kimberley Park station platform. The station is in use
on the Mid Norfolk Railway,
but the station buildings are privately owned, hence the fencing.
Kimberley Park station. Although the opposite platform is in use, this side is returning to nature.
The Mid Norfolk line between Kimberley Park and Wymondham Abbey.
Wymondham Abbey was never a station on the original
line. It has been established by the Mid Norfolk Railway
as their terminus for passenger services. As can be seen, there is a very basic ticket office and platform.
Beyond Wymondham Abbey station, the line continues to the
Network Rail main line.
This will allow the transfer of rolling stock to and from the heritage line from the main line.
By Wymondham Abbey station, there is the level crossing and original crossing keeper's cottage.
This view of the train standing
at Wymondham Abbey station shows the unusual length of the train for a
heritage railway, consisting seven coaches and a diesel loco at each end. The loco nearest the
camera is the Class 47 diesel locomotive 47596, "Aldeburgh Festival".
Back at Dereham, the line crosses the main road into town, and has a modern crossing with audible warning.
There is an amazing array of rolling stock in the sidings at Dereham.
The rolling stock lined up on sidings goes on for a considerable distance.
Work goes on a Dereham sidings.
Class 421/7 Electric Multiple Unit at Dereham
station. This 3-COP set was the last slam-door train on the branch line
between Brockenhurst and Lymington, Hampshire, and took part in the last day celebrations on that line.
73210 "Selhurst" is a Class 73 electro-diesel locomotive.
This locomotive type is unusual in that it can
operate from a 750 V DC third rail system or an on-board diesel engine allowing it to work on non-electrified routes.
It was used by South West Trains, but has now been repainted in Inter City livery.
© Copyright M J Smith, 2012
No photographs to be reproduced elsewhere without permission.