In our latest column from Dereham, Mid Norfolk Railway Chairman CHARLIE ROBINSON shares his joy at the reopening of one of Britain’s longest historic rail lines.

The Mid Norfolk Railway is delighted to announce that we have resumed our heritage train service from Dereham to Wymondham Abbey after a sixteen month lockdown.

Much of the work, however, was completed when our trains were not running.

Four Mk 1 cars have had their bodies repaired and repainted and now look great with major upgrades to the interior as well while on the track two major level crossings, one at Yaxham Road, Dereham, and the other in Kimberley, have been completely renewed. Many thanks to Sonic Rail Services for all their help with the track works and also to all our staff and volunteers who completed this work and others under very difficult conditions like all social distancing rules and regulations etc. ., which were to be followed in time.


A train on the Mid Norfolk Railway.
– Credit: IAN BURT

With trains running again, our first major event of 2021 will be our 1940s weekend on Saturday August 7 and Sunday August 8. There will be stands, exhibits and reenactments at Dereham station and exhibits at our other stations along the line to Wymondham One Abbey. With plenty to see on the grounds in front of the Abbaye train station with a flypast, why not take the opportunity to dress up in 1940s style clothing and have fun? Full details of the weekend are available on our website, www.midnorfolkrailway.org.uk.


Mid-Norfolk Station in Dereham

Mid-Norfolk Station in Dereham
– Credit: Archant


You can also watch:


As always, we run our ever popular Cream Tea Trains departing Dereham at 3:45 PM most Sundays through the end of September, with dates for our Fish and Chips, Jazz and Afternoon Tea Trains also available online.

Our normal calendar of events ends September 25-26 with our Diesel Running Weekend, but we’re excited to announce that the world’s most iconic steam locomotive, Flying Scotsman, will visit the Mid-Norfolk Railway at the start of this season. October 2021. This tour has been postponed from 2020 but the locomotive will operate on the weekends of October 2/3, October 9, and and and and October 16, and on static display at Dereham Station on weekdays. For more information and to book your tickets, please visit our website, tickets will go on sale for this very special visitor to our line in mid-August.


The Royal Scott steam train arrives at Mid Norfolk station in Dereham.  Photo: Matthew Ushe

The Royal Scot steam train arrives at Mid Norfolk station in Dereham. Photo: Matthew Usher.
– Credit: Matthew Usher

Finally, to end the year on a high note, our Polar ExpressTM train journeys will leave Dereham for the North Pole from mid-November until Christmas. Tickets are already on sale but are leaving quickly – come in your pajamas and dressing gowns for a magical train journey to the North Pole to see Santa Claus. With hot chocolate served to your table by the conductor and the chefs in your horse-drawn carriage, a visit from Santa himself, and your gift of the Silver Bell, it’s a great way to start your Christmas celebrations. Christmas. Again, for full details and to book, please visit our website.


The Mid Norfolk Railway Polar Express.  Photo: ANTONY KELLY

The Mid Norfolk Railway Polar Express. Photo: ANTONY KELLY
– Credit: Archant

The Mid Norfolk Railway is East Anglia’s longest heritage standard gauge railway. As you travel the eleven miles from Dereham to Wymondham Abbey, there is plenty to see and do, and we look forward to welcoming you to our line for any racing day or special event.


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