The Mid-Norfolk Railway is updating its full programme of events for 2022. The main events including a proposed Steam and Diesel Gala together other special events weekends remain, however the railway will now reopen 27 March.
The reopening will coincide with Mothering Sunday and will feature the railway’s resident BR Standard 4 MT steam locomotive 80078 and the BR maroon liveried vacuum-braked coaches. Tickets will be on sale both via the Mid-Norfolk Railway website and on the day from both Dereham and Wymondham Abbey Station.
Last year’s popular ‘kids go free’ promotional tickets have been retained for normal running days, so the opening running day is intended as a family day at the railway enjoying the sights and sounds of a working steam locomotive.
“Everyone associated with the railway is looking forward to welcome 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 to the railway for the better”. Charlie Robinson, Chairman The Mid-Norfolk Railway Preservation Trust
Following reopening, April will see a mixture of Steam locomotive and Diesel Multiple Unit running days until the 24 April which will feature the first Diesel locomotive-hauled train timetable of the year. Details of running days can be found on the Mid-Norfolk Railway website at www.mnr.org.uk
The railway during the closure has carried out a number of engineering tasks and also developments during the closure. These are being carried out by staff and volunteers from the railway but are taking slightly longer to complete due to the ongoing impact of Coronavirus restrictions.
Work includes the resignalling of Dereham station and yard which will mean the sight of operational semaphore signals once again at the station for the first time since 1969. The resignalling is especially important as it increases the capacity of the station and is an important precursor to the eventual reopening of the line north of Dereham to full passenger service.
Other work has included, work on Crownthorpe Bridge waybeams, lineside flailing and sleeper renewal together with the fitting of new timbers and point motors at Dereham station together with maintenance of the platform at Wymondham Abbey station.
“This time of the year, when the railway is closed to public running, is so important as it means the railway gets the essential maintenance and development work that keeps us going done but also hopefully makes the railway better each year." “It is hard work and I would like to thank all of our Staff and Volunteers for their efforts and to issue a general invitation to come and join the team. There are many roles not all directly railway related that need doing and we always need more people to help run the Mid-Norfolk Railway." George Saville, General Manager, Mid-Norfolk Railway