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Mid-Norfolk Extension

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by carpentr, Apr 21, 2012.

  1. carpentr

    carpentr New Member

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    Earlier in the month I took part in the sponsored trackwalk along the line from County School to Dereham. I had no idea how much progress had been made in extending the lione to Hoe, and indeed how few big obstacles there are up to County School. I've put together a series of photos illustrating the current state of play, so if anybody is interested they can be found at :

    Mid Norfolk Extension Walk - a set on Flickr

    Roger C
     
  2. Meiriongwril

    Meiriongwril Member

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    Nice pics Carpenter!
     
  3. carpentr

    carpentr New Member

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    You're very kind. I'm intrigued as to what they will do with the extension once built. The impression I got from staff on the day is that it will be used on special days *instead of* the main line to Wymondham - the immediate issue, of course, is that they have no signalling to allow two trains to operate. The route north is arguably prettier - perhaps in the longer term it will be operated as two railways like the Ecclesbourne Valley?
     
  4. Meiriongwril

    Meiriongwril Member

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    Well, according to the wise heads posting on the thread about the NNR and an extension into Holt, the Mid Norfolk would be best advised to turn everything into a bus route....!!
     
  5. carpentr

    carpentr New Member

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    The guys at the MNR were - shall we say - equivocal about the possibility of reaching Fakenham...
     
  6. Martin Perry

    Martin Perry Part of the furniture Staff Member Moderator

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    Interesting pics, thanks. What was the reasoning behind the previous preservation management deciding to lift the track towards County School?
     
  7. carpentr

    carpentr New Member

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    I'm sure there are people on here better qualified to answer than me, but my understanding is that by the time the line closed they were running only to North Elmham, so the track beyond may have already gone. The MNR began at County School, I believe, later moving to the southern section.
     
  8. desperado

    desperado New Member

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    My Orange Baker Bible (3rd edition, 1980) shows the line running to Ryburgh but does not identify what was there. Unlike North Elmham and Dereham which are identified as "Grain Mill" and "UKF/Shellstar depot & coal depot" respectively. I was on Hertfordshire Railtours Anglian Vibrator (23/11/85). That only went to North Elmham. The handout for that says the following;

    "NORTH ELMHAM (176 3/4), the line's present terminus, though the section onwards to Ryburgh was retained until recently and could still be intact.".

    I don't have a photo showing the buffer stops (or similar) at North Elmham but here's one of the station building and the grain terminal at the time.

    s023_34_enhanced_w.png | Flickr - Photo Sharing!.

    It's interesting to compare this with the shot of North Elmham station today from Roger's walk.
    MNR walk 7 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!.

    JP
     
  9. SteveA

    SteveA New Member

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    The line from North Elmham to Ryburgh was lifted by BR in the late 1980s. The MNR started at County School by laying the section of line through the station and a short distance either side. A fallout with the GER co. resulted in a split leading to the MNR moving to Dereham (where the GER Co. had lifted the track in the platforms). The GER Co. eventually disappeared and the MNR regained access to County School, though much of the track had been lifted again.

    Steve
     
  10. Bar Side

    Bar Side New Member

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    Great to see some pictures - I follow the updates on the volunteers page on the MNR site (which is very good) but it is great to pictures of the line beyond Dereham. I wonder if there is space beyond County School for a triangle on the branch off to Reepham?
     
  11. dace83

    dace83 New Member

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    The trackbed north of countyschool would require lots and lots of work and a new bridge. The triangle is there but many £££ would be needed.
    I think I heard a figure of over £1mill for county school as the track north of Hoe is very tired. Would be a great line though as its very pretty rural Norfolk.
    Bridge 1708 Broom Green:: OS grid TF9823 :: Geograph Britain and Ireland - photograph every grid square!
    Trackbed North of Bridge 1708:: OS grid TF9824 :: Geograph Britain and Ireland - photograph every grid square!
     
  12. Bar Side

    Bar Side New Member

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    I would imagine things are pretty far gone beyond County School. I wonder what will really be achieved by reaching Ryburgh with the route blocked north of there? No criticism intended, just curious. Is it simply as the next town/village on the line? If so Reepham could be just as feasible/difficult & as far I have heard the station still exists there.
     
  13. carpentr

    carpentr New Member

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    Reepham is a possible goal of the people at the 'other' Reepham station. Wymondham - Dereham - County School - Reepham (reverse) - Whitwell --- now there's an odd railway.....

    If you've not been to Whitwell and Reepham, BTW, I would recommend it. I have a few (not very exciting) photos at :

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/carpentr/sets/72157629504514548/
     
  14. Bar Side

    Bar Side New Member

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    There's an idea. Imagine Reepham station as a joint owned station - interchange between MNR on one platform & W&R on the other. That would be a first between two preserved lines!
     
  15. s1m0nad

    s1m0nad New Member

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    Great photo's, carpentr - makes me wish I took part in the walk!

    I'm not sure that the costs of reopening to County School would be as much as that - the 2.5 miles from Dereham to Hoe needed approximately 1300 new sleepers - about £39,000 at current prices (as per Sponsor a Sleeper). County School is a further 3.5 miles - track is only missing for approximately 2/3rds of a mile - even allowing for a higher percentage of replacement sleepers, plus track for the missing section and more ballast I would be surprised if it came to £1m. However having said that, it will still need a sizeable chunk of money!
     
  16. Meiriongwril

    Meiriongwril Member

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    What about WHR and FR at Porthmadog ...?
     
  17. nigelss

    nigelss New Member

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    One of the sponsored walk photos shows some embankment slippage at one point north of Hoe - sorry, cannot be more specific from memory - and I would guess that is the kind of thing that takes serious money to put right.
     
  18. Joe Petroni

    Joe Petroni New Member

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    Notwithstanding the two bridge decks and the Maltings at Ryburgh, the route north of County School is in pretty good shape, and looks like a railway once stood there. It remains clear all the way to Fakenham, and is also protected for potential railway re-use, and as far as I am aware, is owned by Norfolk County Council. Maybe the Mid Norfolk has a plan for dealing with the Maltings, as Fakenham is in their long term plan, (but I was told 10+ years).

    Regarding Reepham, this would still require a bridge deck, and a completely new bridge. The formation between where it branches off from the proposed Mid Norfolk extension and where it crosses the A1067, Fakenham Road has been completely returned to agriculture, it is very difficult to make out where the line once was. East of the Fakenham Road, it is much the same story, although there are sections you can just make out that were once a railway. This land is all now in private ownership.

    Reepham also wouldn't address a fundamental problem of the Mid Norfolk, in so much that is doesn't really serve a tourist area. Fakenham on the other hand being the gateway to North Norfolk would. It is also a sizable town in its own right.
     
  19. Bar Side

    Bar Side New Member

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    Thanks for the route retails Joe - very useful. I guess the size of Fakenham wins in destination terms. However I can see why 10+ years with the maltings at Ryburgh.
     
  20. meeee

    meeee Member

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    You do know it is the same company don't you?
     

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