A long-awaited island
platform for southbound trains is to be built at
At the moment
Network Rail plans to start work on the scheme next January and to complete it in time for the December 2011 timetable change.
East Midlands Trains
has secured funding to bring in improvements to the busy
Four Class 156 dmus, which are currently in use on Northern services, will transfer to EMT, allowing refurbished Class 158 units to be cascaded to the busiest section of the Liverpool – Norwich route, where they will strengthen ten weekday trains from two to four carriages; but only between Liverpool and Nottingham.
From December 2012, EMT
plans to operate all services between
NXEA is to introduce Wi-Fi computer facilities on its
Bittern Line trains augmented for NNR crowds
On March 11 the Bittern
Line handled many more passengers than usual because of the inauguration of the
'new link' at Sheringham (see Joined at
Last! below). Two-car Turbostars nos.
170272 and 170273, normally on
Engineering overrun hits GN-line services
Meanwhile the refurbished station is being offering to restaurateurs or retailers on a five-year lease.
Beccles loop appears early!
Two years before the long-campaigned-for passing loop is due to be laid, a second track has appeared at Beccles station.
It appears that during
recent track relaying work on the
Campaigners demand '
A campaign which calls
for the new Greater Anglia rail franchise to incorporate faster and more
reliable rail journeys has been launched in
Campaigners point to
the 115-mile journey from
- A ninety-minute journey time between
and Norwich . London
- More reliable services.
- New Inter-City style trains which maintain the new wi-fi service and prove an 'office on the move' for business people.
- Increased train capacity to overcome peak hour crowding,but without downgrading to commuter-style carriages.
Industry observers have
commented that 90-minute journeys could only come about if many Metro services
were scrapped, or track quadrupled between
An on-line petition can be signed at www.gopetition.com/petitions/norwich-in-ninety.html.
Breckland line closures
Between February 13 and 21 buses replaced trains over part of the Breckland line while more than four miles of track between Thetford and Wymondham were renewed.
Buses were again brought in over the weekend of February 27/8 so that the rubber road panels at Croxton level crossing near Thetford, where a Class 170 dmu derailed in 2006, could be replaced by concrete slabs.
Every few years a
campaign is launched to smarten terminally-dismal
Heritage, Narrow-gauge and Miniature
Joined at last! Cromwell does the honours at Sheringham
Hundreds of spectators
crowded on to every possible vantage point on March 11 to witness the first
passenger train for 46 years steam slowly across
Four days earlier, on Sunday March 7, a smaller crowd had
gathered when news spread that the the reinstated
crossing was about to welcome its very first locomotive: DRS no.37194, which
ran as 0Z37
The reopening was followed by a three-day Celebration Steam Gala on March 12-14. Taking part were N2 0-6-2T no.1744, 56xx 0-6-2T no. 5619, N7 0-6-2T no. 69621, J15 no. 65462 and 0-6-0ST Ring Haw.
As part of the restoration of the rail link, which could bring up to a dozen steam excursions to Sheringham each year, two M&GN-style gates with vertical strengthening bars have been erected. The gates, produced by Sleaford cabinet maker Ian Stark, prevent access to the railways, but are not wide enough to act as conventional level crossing gates. When a train crosses, road traffic is halted by removable cones and chains, as well as a flagman – and sightseers, of course!
WWLR hires first engineering employee
Engineering student Thomas Jones, 19, from Weybourne has secured an apprenticeship at the Wells and Walsingham Light Railway. Thomas works four days a week on
the line, where he assists with building the line's second Garratt
loco Norfolk Heroine. He also studies one day a week at the
Four separate organisations (boiler, engine, tanks and cab, and pony trucks) are constructing Norfolk Heroine, which is due to be delivered this autumn. Thomas's recruitment follows the award to the WWLR of £38,300 towards the loco's cost (NRS Newsletter Nov/Dec 2009). To qualify for the grant, the WWLR has to raise £10,000 from its own sources, and it has launched an appeal for donations to be sent to:
WWR Support Group Treasurer, Westgate Farm, Great Walsingham,
The Southwold Railway Trust has
begun constructing a replica of 2-4-0T no. 3
The project is expected to take three years. The first parts have been made by by Aldeburgh metalworkers Sam and Dennis Pegg. The Trust has raised £27,000 but needs £120,000 to pay for all componenets. It has launched the '2-4-0 Club' to generate funds by seeking sponsorship in £240 units relating to specific components. Sponsors will receive a certificate of donation, have their name on a plaque and receive benefits such as footplate tuition. For more details see www.southwoldrailway.co.uk or tel. 01502 725422.
Sulzer power at Dereham Gala
There was a real treat for fans of Sulzer traction at this year's Mid-Norfolk Railway Spring Diesel Gala. The three-day event, on March 19-21, saw no less than four Sulzer-engined locos power trains between Dereham and Wymondham Abbey in various combinations. The visitors were two 'Peaks', nos. 45133 and D182 (46045), no. 26007 and no. 47580 County of Essex, last seen on the MNR in Winter 2008/9.
The quartet travelled to the MNR on March 17. No. 47580 left Tyseley as 0Z47 Tyseley – Dereham, collected no. 26007 from Barrow Hill and the brace of 'Peaks' from Butterley, and arrived at Dereham at 2015.
During the Gala a few trains ventured beyond Wymondham Abbey as far as the signal protecting Wymondham South Junction, and one or two as far as the MNR/Network Rail boundary. MNR-based nos. 20069, 50019 Ramillies and 73210 Selhurst also worked certain services.
The visiting locos left the MNR on March 23.
Away from the Tracks
New mugs feature Southwold tank
Just arrived at the Southwold
Railway Shop – where you can see a ‘full-sized replica Southwold
Railway coach’ – is a new range of pottery mugs. There are three
different designs featuring Sharp Stewart 2-4-0T no.3
The Southwold Railway Shop, at