On-loan 90s bolster NXEA fleet
Hired-in Class 90 no 90018 has been a regular performer on
Both locos were observed in action on October 22: 90018 worked the 06.40 up from Norwich, 09.00 down, 11.30 up, 14.00 down, 16.30 up and 1900 down, while 90021 worked the 06.10 up, 08.30 down, 11.00 up, 13.30 down, 16.00 up, 18.20 down, 21.00 up and 23.30 down.
Ely-Norwich semaphores on borrowed time
Photographers wanting to capture semaphore signalling along
the Breckland line have only a few months left. It is
reported that the project to install colour-light signals between Ely and
DfT's approval of Felixstowe -
On November 23 the Department for Transport gave the green
light for the Felixstowe to
Extra Fen Line services
The start of the December timetable saw a number of
improvements on the Fen Line to and from
· Mondays-Fridays: the 05.26 Ely - King's Cross starts back at King's Lynn, calling at all Fen Line stations (Watlington, Downham Market, Littleport, Ely, and Waterbeach); the 17.44 and 18.14 King's Cross - King's Lynn trains both stop at Royston (the 18.14 dropping a 4-car set there to call at all stations to Cambridge); the 20.45 King's Cross-Ely is extended to King's Lynn (as it is now Fri. only) calling at all Fen Line stations.
Saturdays: a new 18.15 King's
Sundays: a new 17.58 King's
Lynn-King's Cross calls at all Fen Line stations to
Leaf busters get back to work
DRS Railhead Treatment Trains returned to our region in October to deal with fallen leaves. On October 12 a massive five-loco combination (two Class 37s and three Class 57s) arrived at Stowmarket, and was joined two days later by a four-loco working (two Class 66s and two Class 37s).
RHTTs began in earnest on Monday October 18. Locos seen working out of Stowmarket this year have been:
37409, 37607,37510, 37667
57003, 57004, 57008, 57010
Rail engineers and a 450-tonne crane worked around the clock
over the weekend of November 13/14 to lift
Tornado remembers Armistice Day
The recently-built A1 Class
New package of improvements from NXEA
National Express East Anglia has announced new £1m investment in a package of improvements. Measures to be introduced include:
•20 additional cleaning staff to work on board trains and between journeys
•A new Customer Information Manager and welcome hosts at key
stations including Ely,
•Free weekend travel for partners of NXEA annual season-ticket holders
•Senior Citizens 2-for-1 travel offer on Wednesdays in the New Year
NXEA is also to introduce wi-fi facilities on its
Combining broadband satellite and multiple mobile data connections, the system will automatically select the best connection in the area, giving wi-fi capability throughout the journey. There will be a small charge in standard class accommodation, but it will be free in first class.
Minister's green light for Beccles loop
The government has given the go-ahead to the Beccles passing loop scheme.
Network Rail had said it would meet three-quarters of the £4m cost if it had Government approval after the Comprehensive Spending Review. On October 28 Secretary of State for Transport Philip Hammond said that the project can proceed providing local stakeholders stump up the remaining £1m.
The loop will enable NXEA – or its
successor – to run hourly trains between
140-year-old EDP gets its own loco
The Eastern Daily Press (EDP) was founded in 1870, and NXEA has marked its 140th anniversary by naming Class 90 locomotive no. 90004 after the newspaper.
The ceremony was held at
No. 90004, which was smartly-painted for
the occasion, has previously borne the names The D'Oyly
Carte Opera Company and City of
Desiros to run north of
The new timetable which began on December 12 contains a
number of service improvements (NRS Newsletter Sep/Oct 2010). Among
them are two Monday - Friday morning peak trains which start from Stowmarket at 07.05 and 08.11. Both are formed of Class 360
Siemens Desiro emus. The 360s were not previously
cleared north of East Suffolk Junction at present, but clearance to
A new evening departure leaves
LM 153s cover for smashed unit
London Midland Class 153 'Super Sprinter' single-car dmu nos.153354 and 153364 formed the 5Z20 Tyseley -
Norwich Crown Point on October 15. They are on
hire to cover for no.156417 which is undergoing repairs following the
They run either singly, or as a pair to cover one of
Has Somerleyton saga swung to a conclusion?
In October two of the region's century-old swing bridges
underwent much-needed repairs.
Somerleyton bridge could
only swing on a limited number of occasions each week because of mechanical problems , causing friction between Network Rail and the
Broads Authority. Between October 18 and November 5 Network Rail engineers
replaced the central swing bearing and renewed the wheels which carry the
bridge as it swings. In addition corrosion surveys were carried out at both Somerleyton and Reedham bridges
to assess the need for future repairs.
To allow the work to take place the line between Reedham and
Bittern and Wherry grants under threat
Norfolk County Council, which is currently considering how to reduce its spending because of reduced funding from government, may axe its grants to the Wherry Lines and Bittern Line Community Rail Partnerships. The Partnerships each receive £20,000 a year as well as office support from County Hall.
NRS member Peter Lawrence chairs the Wherry Lines CRP. Claiming that such a move would 'impact on what we can do' Peter plans to contact local councillors and MPs in a bid to retain the grants.
100 years of refreshments
The Country Line buffet at
With buffet cars and snack trolleys on Fen Line trains now
just a memory, the café provides a vital service for passengers. For the past
24 years it has been run by Alan Gajdzik and his wife
A special reception to mark the centenary, attended by West Norfolk Mayor Zipha Christopher, was held at the buffet on November 9.
Ticket office back in business
The ticket office at Wymondham Station, closed since mid-April because of staff shortages elsewhere, has re-opened. The office is scheduled to open on Mondays to Fridays from 05.45 to 10.15.
Heritage, Narrow-gauge and Miniature
King Edward II to 'run in' on MNR
The Mid Norfolk Railway has confirmed reports that it has held discussions with the Great Western Society about using its locomotive no. 6023 King Edward II on MNR trains during the summer of 2011. The plan would be for the 'King' to undertake much of its mileage accumulation programme on the MNR before it is certified for main line running, and discussions are said to be at an advanced stage.
Withdrawn in 1962 and later rescued from Barry scrapyard, King Edward II has been the subject of a long-term restoration project at the GWS's Didcot Railway Centre.
The MNR has also announced that regular visitor
0-6-0PT no.9466 will return next summer. The railway plans to stage its first
ever two-engine Steam Gala, using both
Lady Leicester of Holkham Hall has
inaugurated the Wells & Walsingham Light
Railway's newest loco, a
The new locomotive commemorates Edith Cavell. In
Norfolk Heroine is a sister
loco to the WWLR's Norfolk Hero which has
pulled 450,000 passengers through the north
Restoration plan for Mk 1 suburban set
The M&GNJRS has announced that it intends to restore its four Mk 1 coaches.
BR introduced Mk1 non-gangwayed stock for its suburban services between 1954 and 1956. In the M&GNJRS's collection are the following types, all withdrawn when the lines out of Kings Cross were electrified in the 1970s: Second (S), Brake Second (BS), Second Lavatory Open (SLO) and Lavatory Composite (CL). They are now suffering water ingress at their seams and require heavy body repairs.
The restoration is expected to cost at least £200,000. It is intended to apply for Heritage Lottery funding to support match funding donations.
Southwold team secure carriage for Wenhaston scheme
Members of the Southwold Railway
Trust have bought a 3 ft-gauge Belgian tram carriage from the Fintown Railway in
For several years the Trust has sought without success to recreate all or part of the old 3-ft gauge line. It has now presented plans for a heritage site close to the original Wenhaston station (NRS Newsletter Jul/Aug 2010). A detailed model showed how a station, engine shed, workshop, visitor centre and offices could be incorporated. Local residents' comments will be taken into account before a planning application is submitted. The application will also have to wait for the results of a wildlife survey at the start of the 2011 breeding season.
Plans for a
Middy earns quality standard
As well as its collection of rolling stock, the museum has developed a collection of photographs, artefacts and documents relating to the 'original' MSLR, which closed in 1952.
Rob Murray, MSLR chairman, commented: “The award is the result of many hours of work by our archivist, David Chappell, and his team. To most of our visitors we are a steam railway, but we are always very careful to ensure that what we do is directed towards the aims of the museum as a museum.”
Ashmanhaugh team can now get under
The 7¼-gauge Ashmanhaugh Light Railway now has an inspection pit which the ALR team will find invaluable for maintenance and repairs. The railway is pleased to report that its steam locos, Hunslet-type 0-4-0ST no. 3 Lucille and 0-4-0 no. 6 Hotspur had their boilers inspected in October and 'steam tickets' for both were renewed.
The next departure is for Weybourne, Sheringham......and York
North Walsham-based Nenta Traintours is to operate
its first train over the reinstated Sheringham level
crossing. A special excursion to
The excursion runs on Saturday July 9, and the adult fare from Holt is £68.75. More details from Nenta Traintours, tel. 01692 406152 or www.nentatraintours.co.uk
'Park and Ride' from Holt
The North Norfolk Railway is running extra
Away from the Tracks
Crossing keeper heaven
There's a chance for a volunteer crossing-keeper on the
Mid-Norfolk Railway to live 'over the shop' in this three-bedroomed
former railway cottage, just across
The cottage used to provide accommodation
for the crossing keeper, but Barry Stevens has discovered evidence that it once
enjoyed a more prestigious role. A report on the line's opening in
the Norfolk Chronicle of
More details of Crossing Cottage from agents Fine and Country Norwich (tel: 01603 221888)
Vauxhall bridge fails the test
Structural defects in the disused Vauxhall railway bridge near Great Yarmouth station suggest that returning it to use is unlikely.
Mott MacDonald checked the components of the Grade II-listed bridge using ultrasound, materials analysis and a 3-D laser scan, and discovered sufficient corrosion to rule out the option of repairing it. The inspection cost around £40,000, funded mostly by Norfolk County Council but with contributions from Runham Vauxhall Fair Share Trust, 1st East and Sustrans/Railway Paths which owns the bridge.