Statement regarding temporary changes to our 2022 timetable and subsequent alterations to our programme of special events
The last couple of years have been a momentous time for everyone, not least the MNR, which like many organisations is still recovering from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. This has taken its toll on our staff, volunteers, and finances.
Unfortunately, the railway currently has a number of key engineering projects that need to be carried out in order for us to fully restore services along the line to Wymondham Abbey. We are working through them, but these are taking much longer to resolve than we had initially envisaged. These works will ultimately benefit the ongoing development of the railway into the future. In the meantime, however, in order for us to be able to reopen to visitors and get these projects finished as quickly as practical, the board of directors have taken the decision to only operate trains between Dereham and Thuxton and additionally along our northern extension as far as Hoe.
We have added additional dates for our popular Heart of Norfolk Afternoon Tea trains and will be operating more regular trains over our infrequently used northern section, giving our visitors more opportunities to ride part of our line they may have never travelled over before.
Visitors will also have a chance to see up close the incredible work going on to rebuild and restore Thuxton station, including being able to visit the signal box.
Regrettably, these temporary changes will have a major impact on a number of our 2022 proposed programme of special events, in particular our Summer Steam Event and our 1940s Weekend.
Summer Steam Event 9th – 10th July
Due to a combination of the above and the ongoing national shortage of coal, we have taken the decision to cancel this event. However, we will still be operating trains on this weekend and will be continuing to host live music at Dereham station as part of the Dereham Blues Festival.
1940s Weekend 6th – 7th August
It was always our intention to carry on with this event, however as planning takes time and without the certainty of being able to operate trains to Hardingham and Wymondham (both of which play a key role in this event) we needed to make a tough decision. We know this will disappoint many, but we felt that in the current circumstances we simply could not put on an event of the quality of previous years. In order to protect all the hard work that goes into it we did not want to put on a reduced scale event that left our visitors disappointed, so have made the decision to cancel the event for this year.
We are though very much committed to this event in future years and are looking to do even more for 2023. In addition, we have exciting plans for some other historically themed events next year too.
To offset the removal of the 1940s weekend from this year’s calendar we will soon be announcing details of a vintage fair to be hosted at Dereham station which could extend to multiple dates.
We will make regular updates to keep you up-to-speed with developments.
Vice Chairman & Commercial Manager
Mid-Norfolk Railway Preservation Trust