Steam reclaims more territory in Mid-Norfolk


IN the year when the nation is commemorating the 50th anniversary of the end of BR standard gauge steam haulage, the Mid-Norfolk Railway has opened the latest length of its new northern extension.

On Friday, May 18, Dennis Howell’s WR 0-6-0PT No. 9466, which in recent years has made the surviving section of the GER Wells-next-the-Sea branch a second home, top and tailed a special inaugural train of invited guests from Dereham station to the level crossing at Worthing, which lies north of the previous limit of special train operations at Hoe.

WR Hawksworth 0-6-0PT No. 9466 approaches Hoe crossing between Worthing and Dereham on Saturday, May 19 with a special to celebrate the opening to Worthing. STEVE TWEED/MNR

The outbound train was hauled to Worthing by Class 04 D2334 and headed back to Dereham by steam.

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Further trains were run over the extension during the following weekend. On some of them, the 04 was paired with a DMU trailer car and No. 9466 was back in action on others.

The railway does not plan at this stage to extend its regular timetabled services on the 11½-mile Dereham to Wymondham section to Worthing, but will run passenger trains there on gala days and other special occasions. The distance from Dereham to Worthing is 3.8 miles – longer than many of the UK’s smaller standard gauge heritage lines.

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