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Here’s when our heritage railways will be back on track

PUBLISHED: 13:27 28 June 2020 | UPDATED: 08:29 29 June 2020

A youngster enjoying theWells and Walsingham Light Railway, which will restart services on July 4. Picture: Ian Burt

A youngster enjoying theWells and Walsingham Light Railway, which will restart services on July 4. Picture: Ian Burt

Norfolk’s heritage railways are steaming towards reopening, albeit at a gentle pace.

A locomotive on the North Norfolk Railway, which is planning to resume some services on July 8. Picture: Roger NewarkA locomotive on the North Norfolk Railway, which is planning to resume some services on July 8. Picture: Roger Newark

The Wells and Walsingham Light Railway will be the first to get back on track, resuming on July 4.

The operator, which claims to be world’s smallest public railway with its 10-and-a-quarter gauge track, will run trains from Wells every half hour from 10am to 4pm.

They said: “We will not be running all the way to Walsingham until at least August but will keep this under review. We want to support our friends in the Walsingham community as much as we can. We will travel to Wighton Halt and back with a round trip of approximately half an hour.”

Next out of the station house will be the North Norfolk Railway (NNR), which resumes on July 8. Initial services will be pre-booked steam return trips from Sheringham to Holt only, with no stopping at Weybourne or Kelling Heath Park stations.

From left, Paul O'Brien, James Quinlan and Ray Webb in front of the Class Y14 locomotive on the North Norfolk Railway at Holt Station. Norfolk's heritage railways are planning to resume their services following the coronavirus lockdown. Picture: Stuart AndersonFrom left, Paul O'Brien, James Quinlan and Ray Webb in front of the Class Y14 locomotive on the North Norfolk Railway at Holt Station. Norfolk's heritage railways are planning to resume their services following the coronavirus lockdown. Picture: Stuart Anderson

MORE: ‘How best can we reopen?’ - railway asks the public

An NNR spokesman said: “This is a step towards normality, if and when further relaxation of the rules occurs there is the possibility of introducing additional services. At present due to social distancing restrictions there are no plans to re-introduce the North Norfolkman dining services.”

The Bure Valley Railway is starting trains again on July 11, although its shop at Aylsham Station is already open.

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They will start by running a limited steam-hauled service to Wroxham at weekends, adding services Tuesday through Thursday from August 1.

Passengers on the Wells and Walsingham Light Railway. Picture: Ian BurtPassengers on the Wells and Walsingham Light Railway. Picture: Ian Burt

The railway, which had been facing potential closure due to the financial effects of the lockdown, will also open its cafe for takeaways on July 11.

They said: “On each train only alternate compartments will be in use and all compartments will be divided by clear screens. In doing this our visitors are not required to wear face coverings unless they wish to do so.”

The Dereham-based Mid-Norfolk Railway (MNR) has not yet announced a restart date.

A spokesman said: “The Mid-Norfolk Railway will remain closed for the time being, and until at least the start of August.

The Bure Valley Railway will run trains again from July 11. Picture: Archant LibraryThe Bure Valley Railway will run trains again from July 11. Picture: Archant Library

“During this time we will gradually be welcoming back the majority of MNR volunteers who have been affected by lockdown and not at the railway, and this time will allow us to put in place processes to keep all our visitors and volunteers safe and continue to review government guidance.”

The railway is refurbishing its carriages to meet social distancing requirements, and has started selling tickets for its popular Christmas-themed Polar Express services, which run from November 14 to December 23.


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