Railway reveals plans and projects for 2022

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

Charlie Robinson, chairman of the Mid Norfolk Railway Preservation Trust - Credit: Archant

The Mid Norfolk Railway (MNR) has revealed a host of plans and projects for 2022. 

Following a successful 2021, which included the visit of Flying Scotsman and the annual Polar Express experience, the MNR has unveiled another year of entertainment and important upgrades.

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

Based in Dereham, the heritage railway is currently closed for winter maintenance, but will reopen to the public on March 27 to coincide with Mother's Day. 

The reopening will feature the resident BR Standard class 4 MT steam locomotive and the BR maroon-liveried vacuum-braked coaches.

Last year's kids-go-free tickets have been retained, making it an affordable occasion for the whole family. 

Tickets are set to go on sale at midnorfolkrailway.co.uk, and can also be purchased on the day at Dereham and Wymondham Abbey stations. 

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

Charlie Robinson, chairman of the Mid Norfolk Railway Preservation Trust - Credit: Archant

Mid Norfolk Railway chairman, Charlie Robinson, said: “Everyone associated with the railway is looking forward to welcoming back our passengers, and Mother's Day is an ideal family time to mark the reopening.

"We are sure our passengers will see the difference that the long winter closure has allowed us to make for the better."

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April will see a mixture of steam and diesel multiple unit running days until the 24th, which will feature the first diesel engine-hauled train timetable of the year.

The Norwich Road crossing in Dereham with new signalling in place

The Norwich Road crossing in Dereham with new signalling in place - Credit: Mid Norfolk Railway

During the winter closure, railway staff and volunteers have been carrying out a number of crucial engineering and development tasks. 

Some have, however, taken slightly longer than anticipated to complete due to the ongoing impact of coronavirus. 

Work includes resignalling at Dereham, giving the station and yard operational semaphore signals for the first time since 1969.

This project will increase capacity at the station and is an important precursor to the eventual reopening of the line to the north for full passenger service.

Staff and volunteers at the Mid Norfolk Railway have been carrying out upgrades and maintenance during the winter closure

Staff and volunteers at the Mid Norfolk Railway have been carrying out upgrades and maintenance during the winter closure - Credit: Mid Norfolk Railway

Other work has included the fitting of new timbers and point motors at Dereham, as well as maintenance of the Wymondham Abbey platform. 

George Saville, general manager of the MNR, added: "This time of year - when the railway is closed - is so important.

"The railway gets the work done that keeps us going, and hopefully makes the railway better each year."

George Saville, general manager of the Mid Norfolk Railway

George Saville, general manager of the Mid Norfolk Railway - Credit: Brittany Woodman