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Programme of events for 2023

PLEASE NOTE THAT THE PROGRAMME HAS CHANGED SINCE THE ORIGINAL PUBLICATION OF THIS ARTICLE, MORE INFORMATION HERE.


The Mid Norfolk Railway is planning a full programme of events for 2023. The events will include a Steam and Diesel Gala together with a number of other special events weekends.


The programme of events is intended to once again feature a busy mix of speciality weekends together with railway themed events and it is planned that this will be the first time the railway has been able to run such a programme since 2019.

Charlie Robinson the Chairman of the Mid Norfolk Railway said: “We are all excited by the programme, it will finally mean that we have overcome the issues that Covid caused the railway. The 2022 season has been disappointing and it could be argued that we at the railway underestimated how the effects of Covid had impacted the railway. This programme will I am sure show the railway is back and in many ways better than before. I am also pleased to say that in many of the departments we have new faces that are working to make this a success, in 2023 we are planning to add new services, new catering opportunities and new events, plus bringing back some popular events we have just not been able to run over the last few years.”

The 2023 Mid Norfolk Railway operating season will open on the 4th March with the return of the Model Railway Exhibition at Dereham. Standard running days will be a mix of Steam hauled, Diesel hauled, or Diesel Multiple Unit services.


The first planned steam day will coincide with Mothers Day, over the weekend of 18th and 19th March. In addition a new feature will be a Champagne Afternoon Tea service. 14th May will see the ever popular Vintage Bus Day together with a new Vintage Fair. This event includes the ‘rail replacement’ service to the railway’s County School, which will again be open at weekends and will feature the ever expanding Miniature Railway of the North Norfolk Model Engineering Club.


Another new service the MNR will be offering on selected weekends is ‘The Brecklander Ploughman's Luncheon’. 2023 will also see the return of the Gin Train on the evening of 27th May and 16th September. Also new this year will be a Murder Mystery train on the evenings of 10th & 11th June and 9th September.

The weekend of the 23rd to 25th June will see the first MNR Steam weekend for some years. This event is planned to also be combined with the National Armed Forces Day on the 24th June and will see Service personnel, their families and the UK military veterans community able to travel on the railway at a discount with appropriate identification, on the day.


5th and 6th August will see the return of the 1940s Weekend with re-enactors setting up displays all along the line and visitors are encouraged to enter into the spirit of the event by dressing accordingly.


A number of other themed weekends are planned and details on these different themes will be announced in due course as the planning turns to reality. The summer running season events will conclude with a Diesel Gala from 22nd to 24th September. This will again feature visiting mainline and heritage diesels to supplement the MNR home fleet.


The railway will also open for the Norfolk schools autumn half term break during October and will end the running season with the return of the ever popular Polar Express, that will run during November and December leading up to the Christmas.


Throughout the 2023 running season, in addition to the new ‘Brecklander Ploughman’s Luncheon’ service the railway will once again be running the popular ‘Breckland Fryer’ fish and chip trains during the evening of selected Saturdays and what is now being branded as the ‘Heart of Norfolk’ Afternoon Tea on selected Sunday Afternoons.


The railway will also be retaining its ‘Kids Go Free’ group tickets that was successfully introduced in 2021. These tickets will be available for all standard running days, but do not include special events or special trains.


James Oakley, the Railways Commercial manager said: “In addition to the programme of events for next year's running season, it is important for the railway that we seek to develop the services for passengers once they come to the railway. Next year therefore we have expanding our on train catering services. This therefore means that in addition to what we have previously offered, we are introducing our new ‘Brecklander Ploughman’s Luncheon’ service. This will compliment the return of our themed event running days, which will also see the launch of several new themed running days”, He added.

All on train meal services must be pre booked via the MNR Website at www.midnorfolkrailway.co.uk.


Further details on the 2023 running season will also appear in due course.

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Members of the press are always welcome to contact
MNR Press Officer: Peter Singlehurst

E-mail: press@mnr.org.uk   Telephone: 07963935410
Mid-Norfolk Railway, Station Road, Dereham, Norfolk, NR19 1DF

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