Railway forced to delay 2022 reopening

Mid Norfolk Railway chairman, Charlie Robinson. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

Mid Norfolk Railway chairman, Charlie Robinson. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown - Credit: Archant

Organisers at a Norfolk heritage railway have been left disappointed after they were forced to push back its full reopening date due to engineering work overrunning.

Mid-Norfolk Railway based in Dereham had originally planned to reopen fully to the public on Mother's Day.

Due to engineering works overrunning the planned start of passenger services has had to be delayed until April 30.

it means the heritage railway, which has been closed to undertake winter maintenance, will instead host what it calls a static event at Dereham station on Sunday, March 27.

It will be open for families who will be able to book a special Mother's Day afternoon high tea that will be served in one of the railway's heritage carriages.

The Mid Norfolk Railway signal and telegraph team working on resignalling at Dereham station and yard

The Mid Norfolk Railway signal and telegraph team working on resignalling at Dereham station and yard - Credit: Mid Norfolk Railway

Charlie Robinson, the chairman of the Mid Norfolk Railway said: “We are all obviously disappointed that we cannot welcome back our passengers in time for Mother's Day, but the work is essential for a safe railway.

“One of the challenges of running a heritage railway on this scale is that of maintenance.

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“Our ongoing programme of development and routine maintenance both finds old faults from British Rail days, as well as repairing and replacing parts of the railway that just wear out.

"The last two years have proved exceptionally difficult to conduct the level of work we would normally be able to do and also the loss of income has not helped.”

Mid Norfolk Railway chairman, Charlie Robinson. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

Mid Norfolk Railway chairman, Charlie Robinson. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown - Credit: Archant

The railway is now planning to reopen for a steam service over the May bank holiday weekend.

Once normal timetabled service resumes the railway will be running a mix of steam and diesel engine hauled trains, supported by Diesel Multiple Unit trains.

In addition, there will be a range of special weekends, with the year ending with the ever-popular Polar Express running in November and December.

signal box

The former Spooner Row signal box which has been given to the Mid Norfolk Railway - Credit: MNR

Last year’s successful kids go free group tickets have been retained, so on standard operating days it is intended a family can enjoy a day at the railway experiencing the sight and sound of a working steam engine or diesel locomotives.

Tickets for the Mothers Day event are available for three time slots - 12pm, 2pm and 4pm. The price is £18.50 per person.

They are available from the Mid Norfolk Railway website at www.midnorfolkrailway.co.uk