‘Agility’ trains will run on Fen line
The DfT has confirmed that the some of its proposed new fleet of 125mph trains will work the
The £7.5bn project to design and produce the new trains has been won by Agility Trains, a consortium headed by
The announcement was welcomed by Mike Burrows, acting chairman of Shaping Norfolk's Future and Andy Tyler, secretary of the Fen Line Users Association.
NXEA to get new stock – but
As part of its plans to fund extra rail capacity into key
Meanwhile services between
Honours degree for 317 EMU
HRH the Duke of Edinburgh has helped mark a milestone in
At last – Beccles loop gets the nod from NR
After years of campaigning, the East Suffolk Travellers’ Association (ESTA) has had its wish granted: Network Rail is to lay a passing loop at Beccles. The scheme is one element of a five-year Network Rail programme revealed at the end of March.
The Beccles loop will allow two trains to pass and enable NXEA to increase services between
Other plans for
RMT ‘job cuts’ strikes called off
Strikes planned by rail staff working for First Capital Connect and National Express East Anglia were called off after ‘significant progress’ in peace talks.
RMT members at NXEA were to walk out on Monday March 30 after voting 2-1 in favour of industrial action over the use of agencies and contract labour. At First Capital Connect, where the dispute centred on a proposal to change ticket office opening hours, workers voted by more than 3-1 for strike action. However FCC stressed that out of 756 members balloted, 425 did not vote, 245 (32%) voted yes and 86 voted no.
Now you can down 'em at Downham
A pub, the Railway Arms, has been opened in Downham Market station. Landlord Andrew Archibaldhas run the station’s café and post office, but the latter hadto close last year, freeing up space. The Railway Arms is open every day from lunchtimes, and on Fridays it stays open until
Yet another accolade for Wymondham
In 1998 businessman David Turner took over the neglected Wymondham station and began turning it into a busy and award-winning credit to the town. Its attractions include the Brief Encounter restaurant and a collection of railway artefacts.
On March 24, Mr Turner was presented with a plaque by Michael Timewell, chairman of Norfolk Tourism, and Margaret Dewsbury, chairman of South Norfolk Council, to mark his 21 years of service to tourism in the county.
FLUA lobbies on barriers and parking
The Fen Line Users’ Association wants Network Rail to modify Waterbeach station level crossing so that its barriers cover the full width of the road. The half-barriers, says FLUA, were appropriate for the location and its characteristics when they were installed around 20 years ago, but today 123 passenger trains pass over the crossing each day, well over half non-stop – not to mention empty stock and freight trains. FLUA fears that somebody hurrying for a
FLUA is also calling for Network Rail or local councils to buy the overgrown land next to the ‘overspill’ King’s Lynn station car park The owner, BRB (Residuary) Ltd, wants to sell the land, but FLUA points to growing demands for parking at the station and King’s Lynn’s designation as a growth point by the government.
Wedged lorry delays trains
Passengers travelling to and from
DfT’s ‘minor modifications’ move is dropped
The East Suffolk Travellers’ Association (ESTA) reports with delight that the DfT has dropped its controversial 'minor modifications' proposals Had they come into effect, plans to shift Lowestoft station 400 metres west could have gone ahead without a public inquiry. Now any such proposal will have to go through proper closure procedures.
ESTA, Network Rail and NXEA all want
Heritage, Narrow-Gauge and Miniature
Now fire adds to troubled Royal Scot’s woes
Bressingham’s LMS 4-6-0 no. 6100 Royal Scot, whose return to main-line status has fallen well behind schedule as the project’s costs have escalated, was moved to the LNWR workshops at Crewe in February, having received ‘a generous offer’ from the Waterman Heritage Railway Trust. After receiving attention, including a full repaint, at Crewe, the 4-6-0 was to be run in at the West Somerset and Llangollen Railways, but the low-loader taking it to Somerset caught fire on the M5, and the loco suffered paint and smoke damage to the front end.
Annie takes up residence at Whitwell...
Shortly after marking 50 years since the M&GN’s demise, Whitwell & Reepham station – which has recently been granted charitable status – has taken delivery of its own locomotive. On
The ex-NCB loco travelled via the M25 and M11 from its previous home at Chatham Historic Dockyard. Annie will be in steam on the first Sunday of each month from to 17.00. At other weekends diesel shunter Georgie will operate from 10.00 to 18.00.
..and Mid-Norfolk’s first steam loco may also be a saddle-tank
A recently-formed syndicate of volunteers on the Mid-Norfolk Railway is planning to buy a steam loco and bring it to the MNR, whose home fleet is at the moment exclusively diesel.
The Norfolk Heritage Steam Railway Limited has reached an initial agreement with the trustees of the The Lavender Line Preservation Society to buy its Hunslet 0-6-0ST no.68012 known as Blackie. The
Blackie was built by Hunslet of Leeds in 1944 as works number HE 3193 and War Department number 75142. It masquerades as a J94 and is numbered 68012, but was never a BR locomotive. Its preservation history has included spells on the Great Central Railway and Midland Railway Centre as well as the Lavender Line.
Big engines galore at Dereham
Fans of locos once based at
Also on show was no. 37003, the oldest EE Type 3 in private preservation, which had arrived by road three days earlier. The Class 37 Locomotive Group hopes to have it back on the main line in 2010.
A month later, on March 27-9, the MNR’s Diesel Gala starred four guest DB Schenker locos – no. 66144, Loadhaul-branded no. 60059 Swinden Dalesman, large logo no. 37425 Pride of the Valleys and no. 67008. They arrived from Toton TMD on March 26 and were joined at the Gala by MNR-based nos. 20069, 31438, 50019 Ramillies, 56040 Oystermouthand 73210. The Class 56 Group had planned that Oystermouth’s public debut would be on an exclusive members’ special but it proved impossible to fit in a train for members and shareholders only, and no. 56040’s first post-restoration train was a public departure from Dereham on March 27.
The visiting quartet returned to Toton immediately the Gala was over.
Steam’s brief return to Melton Constable
Several NRS members were among the onlookers who welcomed 4F 0-6-0 no. 44422 to Melton Constable on February 11. The loco, minus its tender, was being transported by road from Cheddleton to Sheringham ready to take part in the North Norfolk Railway’s ‘That's Yer Lot’ gala. At Melton Constable the 4F parked outside the buildings which once housed the M&GN’s paint shop and carriage and wagon works.
MNR gets prototype BR coach
Recently arrived at the Mid-Norfolk Railway is Mk2 prototype coach number 13252, a first-class corridor vehicle from the
Away from the Tracks
Planners approve steam park in Southwold
The Southwold Railway Trust’s ongoing efforts to bring steam back to Southwold have at last borne fruit. In February Waveney District Council's development control committee approved plans to open a steam park on the site of a car spares yard in
Said John Bennett of the Southwold Railway Trust: “This park will celebrate the heyday of British steam engineering in an educational and entertaining manner. It will be a family visitor attraction based around a serious heritage project.”
The Southwold Railway Shop is now stocking white linen tea towels with Sharp, Stewart 2-4-2T no. 1 Southwold printed in black. They cost £5 each. The shop is at
Blue plaque commemorates
One of the many events held in
Orbital backers fail to buy trackbed
The company behind the proposed Norfolk Orbital Railway was dealt a blow when it was outbid for the section of ex-GER trackbed near Fakenham (NRS Newsletter Jan/Feb 2009). The group had raised £7,500 to buy the 3.5 acre site, but Giles de Lotbinière, managing director of
Despite their defeat, the NOR directors were encouraged by the financial donations and messages of support that reached them before the auction. 'This piece of trackbed’, said chairman David Rees, ‘remains protected as a railway route in the County Council’s Local Transport Plan and the new Local Development Framework which governs future planning policy. It can’t be developed for anything else.’