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Mid-Norfolk Railway


 RCD’s Overview

A railway well worth the visit for its lengthy 11 miles and realistic prospect of further extension in the future. It runs through attractive Norfolk countryside, and is easy to access (for example, from Norwich) through national rail connections at Wymondham, which itself is well worth a visit for its beautiful Abbey.  This railway has something of a bias for diesel, and some impressive ex-main line diesel locomotives. Steam trains are also run frequently. Check the railway website for what is running on a particular day.

From the start of the 2023 season, train service are limited to run on the Dereham - Thuxton section only, whilst bridge repairs are funded and carried out. It is unclear at present when this will be completed.

The support group is the 'Mid-Norfolk Railway Preservation Trust' (see 'Information on the Support Group' below).


Happening This Month on the Railway

  • Go to 'Homepage' and click into 'Railway Club Calendar'

Key Facts (where and when)

Extent of Railway (where to where):

Dereham to Wymondham Abbey (Norfolk) [but see above as to restricted service]

Principal Visitor Centre:

Dereham station (NR19 1DF)

Period of Operation*

- February Half Term

- March and October : Most weekends

- April to September: Most weekends and Wednesdays

- August: Also most Thursdays

- December: Special event trains

 [* This is a summary. Please go to the railway’s website for definitive operating days] 


Key Facts (what you’ll see)

Services usually steam or diesel?

Mix of steam and diesel, details on website

Type of Steam / Diesel Locomotives Used:

Ex main line diesel locomotives. Mid-sized steam

Length of Line:

11 miles

Time taken for a round trip:

1 hour 40 minutes (one hour at present)

Number of trains per day:

Minimum of 3 in each direction

Number of Stations:

5 stations

Prices (peak: off-peak are cheaper)

Adult Rover: £19. Concession Rover: £16. Child Rover: £7. Society Members: £14

Time to allow for Visit:

2 to 3 hours


Museum Room on Dereham Station



Picnic/Play areas:


Preservation Established:


Car Park Facilities:

At Dereham station, free large car park. Wymondham Abbey station, small car park nearby and parking in town within easy walking distance


Key Facts (Galas/Events/Dining)

Dining Trains:

- The Heart of Norfolk Afternoon High Tea Train

- Breckland Fryer Fish & Chips Train

 Event Trains:

- Polar Express: November and December

Principal Galas:

- Summer Steam: June

- 1940s Weekend: August

- Autumn Diesel Gala: September




Telephone:                                                           01362 851723


Social Media:                                              

                                                                                Also on Twitter/ Instagram/ YouTube/ Flickr



Brief History of the Railway and its Preservation  

Railways connecting Norwich to Kings Lynn and Norwich to Wells had been envisaged as early as the 1840s, and railways had been built from Wymondham (already connected to Norwich) to those destinations in stages by two separate companies by 1857. The Wymondham/Dereham section was used by both Kings Lynn and by Wells trains. In 1862 the lines had been absorbed by the Great Eastern Railway, and the line between Wymondham and Dereham was double tracked in 1882. The 1955 Modernisation Plan resulted in the replacement of steam with diesel multiple units, and services were increased and timings reduced. Despite this, the Wells branch was listed for closure in the Beeching Report, although the King's Lynn - Dereham - Norwich line was to be retained The line however was to be simplified with loops removed between Kings Lynn and Dereham and the line from Wymondham to Dereham was also singled. Passenger services nonetheless ended in 1968. Freight traffic along much of the Wells route from Wymondham to private sidings at Fakenham, North Elmham and Great Ryburgh however remained. Grain traffic continued to North Elmham until 1989 when the line was closed. A preservation trust was established in 1995 with the aim of buying and restoring the Dereham/Wymondham section and potentially beyond, which ultimately led to the complete reopening of that section.


Principal Aspiration

To extend the line from Dereham to County School


Steam Operational Locomotives:

(1) BR Standard Class 4MT - 80078 (away from railway at present)


Diesel Operational Locomotives/DMU:

(1) BR Class 03 - 03063

(2) BR Class 14 - D9520 (away from railway at present)

(3) BR Class 33 - 33202

(4) BR Class 47 – 47367 (Dereham Yard only)

(5) BR Class 47 - 47596

(6) BR Class 47- 47580

(7) DMU Pacer 142 061


Diesel Locomotives/DMU Under Overhaul:

(1) BR Class 03 - 03197

(2) BR Class 04 - D2334

(3) BR Class 31 - 31255

(4) BR Class 37 - 37003 (off site)

(5) BR Class 50 - 50019 ‘Ramillies’

(6) Heritage DMU Class 101 - 51499 and 51226

(7) Hunslet shunter - BSC 1


Stored/ Under Restoration/ Out of Service:

- Heritage DMU Class 100 - 56301

- Heritage DMU Class 101 - 51434, 59117 and 51503

- Heritage DMU Class 101 - 56347

- Heritage DMU Class 108 - 54270 and 51942

- Heritage DMU Class 117 - 51370 and 51412

- BR Class 419 (Battery EMU) - 9004

- BR Class 307 MU - 320

- Pacer Class 142 - 142038


Name of Support Group:

Mid-Norfolk Railway Preservation Trust

Annual membership fee:

Adult: £22. Concession: £ 18. Family: £53


Benefits of membership:                                  

-          Discounted travel on train

-          Discounted purchases in the Gift Shop and Café

-          Quarterly Magazine: ‘Blastpipe’


How to Join:                                                


What They Say About Volunteering:

We are always looking for interested people who can spare some time. There are a wide range of volunteering opportunities available, covering virtually every aspect of the railway’s activities. Whilst some roles require a significant time commitment and training, others do not. If you want to get your hands dirty, there are plenty of opportunities, but if manual work is not for you, there is also a wide range of other choices. Volunteering presents you with the opportunity to meet new people, from all walks of life, gain worthwhile skills and results in a real sense of achievement

How to Volunteer:                                               Go to


How to Donate:                                                    Go to


WHY JOIN:                                                             Help the railway achieve its ambition of extending to County School.



Those interested in this railway may also be interested in the following railway societies also listed on this


Traditional Railway Societies:

- Great Eastern Railway Society

- Norfolk Railway Society


Model Railway Clubs:

- Norwich Model Railway Club

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