Ales by Rails - Beer Festival & Steam Weekend - 23th-26th August 2019

Ales by Rails 2019 is back with the Dereham Beer Festival which takes place at the Mid-Norfolk Railway, over the August Bank Holiday weekend of Friday 23rd August to Monday 26th August.

The railway line is transformed into an 11-mile beer festival, with the main festival site at Dereham Station. The bar will have real ales and ciders from around the country and local breweries, and a live music stage playing on Platform 3, Under the Canopy. On board most trains there will be local bottled ales. Please note, that beer tokens cannot be accepted on board the trains except the one-third beer tokens on the Sunday Beerex 7pm train.

Steam Driver Experience behind Union of South Africa!

Drive for 6 miles and fire for 6 miles for £445 on Tuesday 27th August. Call Dereham Station on 01362851723 to book and find out further information.

We're pleased to announce that the Union of South Africa (60009) locomotive is expected to join us for our Ales by Rail - Beer & Music Festival weekend.

The LNER Gresley A4 streamlined mainline locomotive was built in 1937 and designed to run between London and Scotland on the East Coast Main Line at speeds of up to 100mph when in service. Sister locomotive, Mallard, achieved the world speed record for steam of 126mph in 1938, which still stands today. Union of South Africa was preserved in 1966 by John Cameron and has visited many parts of the UK including our railway. This visit may be the last ever visit by the locomotive to the Mid-Norfolk Railway as its boiler certificate expires this year.

Further details and tickets to be announced soon.

Locomotives & Units

  • LNER A4 No. 4488 BR 60009 Union of South Africa
  • Hunslet Works No 2857 WD 75008 Swiftsure 0-6-0ST
  • BR Diesel Railcar 101836

Please note that locomotives are subject to availability and short notice maintenance requirements.


Saturday, Sunday, Monday or Weekend Pass
Advance online tickets offer (not on the day) include two free beer tokens for each adult (over 18s only*)
Day rover fares allow unlimited journeys supplement is payable for evening trains

Diesel service

Friday Only

Steam & Diesel
Weekend Pass
Adults Over 18s* £11 £18 £36
Children Under 5s FREE FREE FREE
Aged 5-17 £3 £9 £18
Families Up to 2 adults
and 3 children
£22 £36 £72
Concessions Over 60s or Disabled £10 £16 £34
MNRPT Members (on the day only) £8 £14 £32
Dogs and Bikes (on the day only) £1 £1 n/a
* Over 18s only - the railway operates a Challenge 25 policy, so please make sure you bring an ID with you to prove your age when requested. A free soft drink will be available for designated drivers and children.
Special dining trains hauled by LNER A4 Gresley 60009 Union of South Africa - Special train tickets bought online include day rover. Day Rover
Online Day Rover
and Special Train
The Fast Fryer - Saturday 24th at 7pm £10 £28
Cream Tea Special - Sunday 25th at 3:30pm £8 £26
Special Beerex train hauled by Union of South Africa Tickets include three beer tokens sample a 1/3 pint of each three types of Bright Beer served onboard (over 18s*) - whilst stocks remain! There is no reservation required for this train. Day Rover
Online Day Rover and Special Train
A4 Beerex - Sunday 25th at 7pm £3 £21


We are expecting a diesel service on Friday and a steam and diesel service on Saturday, Sunday Monday. Full details soon!

Friday, Saturday, Sunday & Monday -
times to be confirmed, please come back soon.

Like most beer festivals, we operate a token system at the festival bar. The best and cheapest way to buy your drink will be by a token. Each beer costs a set number of tokens per half-pint.

You can buy a Starter Pack (Glass and four tokens) for £TBC. Each additional card of tokens costs £TBC.
(There are no refunds available on unused tokens or glasses)

Cash transactions will also be available, but this works out more costly per pint.

There is a card machine at Dereham to allow you to make purchases on your credit/debit cards.

Note: The railway does not have a cash machine at any of the stations. Nearest cash machines:
Dereham: Morrisons supermarket, 1 min walk from Dereham station
Wymondham Abbey: One Stop Shop, a 10 min walk into the town from Wymondham Abbey Station.

Found a beer or cider you love? Take-Two Pints home!
Back by popular demand, you can carry out any two pints of your favourite beer or cider to help you continue your celebrations after the festival has closed for the night. There is a small 50p charge to cover the cost of the carton.

Back by popular demand, a new limited edition festival glass has been produced.
2019 Beer Glasses cost £TBC  per glass and are non-refundable, but it is cheaper to get your glass as part of a starter pack.
You can hire a glass for £TBC.

We want as many people as possible to enjoy our festival. If you're with people who are buying alcohol, and you're the designated driver, or just having an alcohol free evening, you can have free soft drinks from the main festival bar only - just show us your car keys or speak to bar staff.

The most important part of any festival is the beer & cider list. TBC


Live music will run every evening at our unique venue on Platform 3, Under the Canopy. On Monday, an Open Mic day has been organised during the day.

  • TBC


  • TBC


  • TBC


  • TBC


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Ales by Rails - Online Rover - Friday 23rd August 2019
Tickets are available to book online below (except member/dog/bike tickets) or on the day from the t..
Ales by Rails - Online Rover - One Day
Tickets are available to book online below (except member/dog/bike tickets) or on the day from the t..
Ales by Rails - Online Rover - Weekend Pass
Tickets are available to book online below (except member/dog/bike tickets) or on the day from the t..
Beerex Special - Sunday 25th August 2019
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The Fast Fryer & 1 Day Rover - Saturday 24th August 2019
A great way to spend your summer Saturday evening, riding though the Heart of Norfolk countryside, b..
A4 Special Cream Tea & 1 Day Rover - 25th August 2019
THE A4 SPECIAL CREAM TEA SERVICE Locally baked scones, clotted cream, fresh strawberries and tea,..