Railway chairman: 'We look forward to welcoming you' back to heritage line

Exclusive look at the Mid-Norfolk Railway in Dereham, ahead of re-opening. Pictured is Charlie Robin

Mid-Norfolk Railway chairman Charlie Robinson - Credit: Ella Wilkinson

In our latest column from Dereham, Mid Norfolk Railway chairman CHARLIE ROBINSON shares his joy about the reopening of one of Britain's longest heritage rail lines. 

The Mid Norfolk Railway is delighted to announce that we have resumed our heritage train service from Dereham to Wymondham Abbey after sixteen months of lockdown.

Much work was, though, completed while our trains weren’t running.

Four Mk 1 carriages had their bodywork repaired and repainted and now look superb with major improvements carried out to the interiors as well while, on the track, two important level crossings, one at Yaxham Road, Dereham, and the other at Kimberley, were completely renewed. A huge thank you to Sonic Rail Services for all their assistance with trackwork and also to all our staff and volunteers who completed both these and other works in very difficult conditions as all social distancing rules and regulations, etc, which had to be followed at the time.

A train on the Mid Norfolk Railway.

A train on the Mid Norfolk Railway. - Credit: IAN BURT

With trains now running again, our first major event of 2021 will be our 1940s Weekend on Saturday 7 and Sunday, August 8. There will be stands, displays and re-enactments at Dereham Station and displays at our other stations along the line to Wymondham Abbey. With much to see in the field opposite the station at the Abbey together with a flypast, why not take the opportunity to dress up in 1940’s style clothing and join in the fun? Full details of the weekend can be found on our website, www.midnorfolkrailway.org.uk.

The Mid-Norfolk Railway station in Dereham

The Mid-Norfolk Railway station in Dereham - Credit: Archant

As always, we are running our ever-popular Cream Tea Trains on the 3.45pm departure from Dereham on most Sundays until the end of September, with dates for our Fish and Chips, Jazz and Afternoon Tea Trains also available online.

Our normal timetable of events ends on the September 25 and 26 with our Diesel Running Weekend but we are thrilled to announce that the world’s most iconic steam locomotive, Flying Scotsman, will be visiting the Mid-Norfolk Railway at the beginning of October 2021. This visit was postponed from 2020 but the loco will be running on the weekends of October 2/3, 9/10 and and on October 16, and on static display at Dereham Station on weekdays. For more information and to book your tickets, please visit our website, tickets will be going on sale for this very special visitor to our line in mid-August.

The Royal Scott steam train arrives at Mid Norfolk Railway Station in Dereham. Picture: Matthew Ushe

The Royal Scot steam train arrives at Mid Norfolk Railway Station in Dereham. Picture: Matthew Usher. - Credit: Matthew Usher

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Finally, to end the year off in style, our Polar ExpressTM Train Rides will be leaving Dereham for the North Pole from mid-November until Christmas. Tickets are already on sale but going quickly - come dressed in your pyjamas and dressing gowns for a magical train ride to the North Pole to see Santa. With hot chocolate served to your table by the conductor and chefs in your carriage, a visit by Santa himself and your gift of the Silver Bell, this is a great way to start your Christmas celebrations. Again, for full details and to book, please visit our website.

The Mid Norfolk Railway Polar Express.

The Mid Norfolk Railway Polar Express. Picture: ANTONY KELLY - Credit: Archant

The Mid Norfolk Railway is East Anglia’s longest standard gauge heritage railway. Running the eleven miles from Dereham to Wymondham Abbey, there’s much to see and do, and we look forward to welcoming you to our line for any scheduled running day or special event.