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Mid Norfolk Railway - General discussion

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by toplight, Mar 18, 2010.

  1. toplight

    toplight Member

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    I thought I would start my first new thread ! There doesn't seem to be one about the Mid Norfolk Railway and I think this is great line with "absolutely tonnes" of future potential, but which doesn't get enough publicity. It deserves much more, and has probably been largely overlooked by many enthusiasts.

    I am not in any way involved with this line but I visit from time to time as I grew up nearby and have seen it make steady progress between each visit.

    Amazingly the GER station buildings still exist all the way along the line although most are now private houses with the railway still having use of the most of the platforms that survive. There is plenty of DMUs and Diesels but the thing the line really lacks is regular steam locos being in use. It could do with a least one big steam loco being based there to raise it's profile among the enthusiast movement.

    So to start the discussion:-

    1 Are there any plans for the railway to try and acquire any of the station buildings such as Thruxton etc should they come up for sale ?

    2 Are there any steam loco owners/groups that might be prepared to get involved, even if on a temporary basis ?
    Perhaps a main line Engine could be based there occasionally ?

    3 Are there any plans to acquire some steam locos ? either runners or "projects". In my opinion this is what the line really lacks.

    4 Maybe a project could be put together to restore either the GER E4 or the J17 belonging to the NRM for occasional use along the line as they are both examples of types that were formally used. ? What would the NRMs view on this be ?
     
  2. TonyMay

    TonyMay New Member

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  3. dman-lewis

    dman-lewis New Member

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    I though it was firstly a diesel heritage line but some events are with steam, It does look good now definately better.
    I know someone that worked on the line in its hayday.
    But They do get a bit funny when having help and support, like Whitwell and reepham and nnr, nnr is very nice helped whitwell alot and we have helped them but mnr wasn't so good.
    I traveled on the line last year as I hadnt in years. Was very happy with the quality of the line, nearly fell asleep it was so smooth, Im fully backing their extentions in future years.
     
  4. TonyMay

    TonyMay New Member

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    I understand they want to run steam in order to generate greater income from family visitors. Given the nationwide motive power shortage, I think it's likely to be industrials for the foreseeable future.

    I don't know the condition of the two ex-GER engines in the national collection, but the NRM will allow groups to restore engines if they can find funding, and they're restorable while keeping true to the original fabric of the locomotive. Plus there's always the <a href="http://www.holdenf5.co.uk/">F5</a> being built at the Epping-Ongar Railway which I'm sure will make a visit.

    But for something a bit more modern, and look good with mk 2 carriages, how about the <a href="http://www.5at.co.uk/">5AT</a> project being based there?
     
  5. domeyhead

    domeyhead New Member

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    I'd like to know more about the MNR as it has acquired a good running length very quickly (Is it 12 miles and growing?) I Believe the plans to get to County School are now firm, but is there a long term plan to get back to Fakenham. How realistic is it? Is the funding in place? Most importantly Who owns the trackbed beyond C.S. and has it been breached or infilled?
    I remember last year a story about the sale by auction of a very short piece of the old trackbed outside Fakenham on the Holt Line (near Pensthorpe I think) and enthusiasts were being urged to secure it as part of the ambition of joining up with the NNR and creating a "Norfolk Circle". Unfortunately this seemed to have alerted a local property speculator who snapped it up. I suspect he has bought himself a pup. While the Norfolk Circle concept sounds about as likely as relaying the S&D I'd be interested on any updates and firm plans, especially in Fakenham.
     
  6. Wansfordman

    Wansfordman New Member

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    As an ex MNR volunteer the station buildings at Thuxton are privatly owned and are also a holiday home. The line has steadily improved especially since the run round loop at Wymondham has been built and the passing loop at Thuxton is being constructed. Also with 9466 reguarly visiting the line does now offer steam services. I feel tho that the majority of people on the railway are pro diesel so it will be inertesting over the years to see if the railway does run an all steam or is still pro diesel. However its still a great line regardless of the motive power with decent length and scenary and well worth the visit.
     
  7. dace83

    dace83 New Member

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    I will upload my gala pictures tomorrow with loop progress, if anyone wants to sponcer me for the walk in April (SC to Dereham which is 6 miles) then please PM me. The aim is £3000, for two crossing gates.
     
  8. s1m0nad

    s1m0nad New Member

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    With regards the route towards Fakenham, the Mid Norfolk railway owns the trackbed to a point about 100m north of the Yarrow farm crossing (about 1/4 mile north of county school - 17 3/4 miles from the junction at Wymondham). I'm not sure who owns the trackbed beyond this point but there are a number of obstacles including two bridge decks having been removed (over the B1110 and a minor road), as well as the Crisp Malting plant at Great Ryburgh extended across the trackbed and the site of the station used as one of their access roads (google street view shows this well). On a more positive note the part of the route that falls within the North Norfolk District council area is protected from any non-railway development - policy CT 7 - http://consult.north-norfolk.gov.uk/portal/planning/cs/adopted_cs?pointId=17#section-17 - the protected route into Fakenham diverts from the old Great Eastern route to Wells and joins the old MN&GR trackbed to end up near the museum - as shown in yellow on this map http://www.northnorfolk.org/files/02a_-_Fakenham.pdf - hope this helps!
     
  9. dace83

    dace83 New Member

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  10. dman-lewis

    dman-lewis New Member

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  11. dace83

    dace83 New Member

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    Yes I did enjoy it, met some nice people. Much better when its a steam gala though. I hear there may be a surprise engine this year so it could be interesting.
     
  12. dman-lewis

    dman-lewis New Member

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  13. toplight

    toplight Member

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    I had a look through the pictures, some great shots. Was particularly interesting to see the ones of the Thruxton signal box and loop construction. Will look forward to seeing this for myself. When the loop opens the railway really should look to use this to extract maximum publicity, have a steam event and hire some steam engines in plus have someone famous to 'open' it. I am sure they could get some coverage from the local newspapers/TV and the usual rail magazines.

    I have written two short articles for my own Toplight 7545 project, one for steam railway and one for heritage railway magazine and they were both published. Maybe someone involved in the railway could write some short articles about the loop and the various projects to rebuild signal boxes along the line. I am aware of 4 boxes. This would all help to keep the railway in enthusiasts minds and perhaps encourage some to visit who haven't visited previously.

    For those who haven't visited previously the Wikipedia gives quite a good short version of what the line has to offer, it's history and some pictures etc http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mid-Norfolk_Railway
     
  14. s1m0nad

    s1m0nad New Member

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    A quick update on the Thuxton passing loop project - this weekend (12th-14th June) has seen the track connected up across the level crossing and the road reopened - http://www.mnr.org.uk/news/volunteer.html
    Work continues on the signal box and signalling, with the aim of having the work completed in time for the Class 37 Golden Jubilee gala on the 24th-26th September - http://www.mnr.org.uk/events/jubilee/
     
  15. dace83

    dace83 New Member

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  16. dace83

    dace83 New Member

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    I'm actually hoping to visit Shippea Hill station (of which thuxton is based on along with east winch) and a few other breckland line stations tomorrow before they are obliterated under the new signalling plans.
     
  17. nanstallon

    nanstallon Well-Known Member

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    I visited on 5 June - the 20 (D8069, I think, but I'm not good with numbers!), and was very impressed. Beautiful stations on the way, and it felt like BR in late 60s, especially at Dereham. The diesel loco running days are a great idea.
     
  18. dace83

    dace83 New Member

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    The railway has shown some interest in putting up a footbridge at Dereham which will be interesting. Of GER origin, possibly the one the NNR bought then decided it wasn't suitable?
     
  19. dman-lewis

    dman-lewis New Member

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    You are correct, The one that is sitting at whitwell station waiting for mnr to pick up. Their has been a swapping deal for you to have the bridge.
     
  20. dace83

    dace83 New Member

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    What has the MNR swapped then?

    Lots of swapping with heritage lines recently, nice to see some good constructive co-operation
     

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