2nd May 2021 - THE MID NORFOLK RAILWAY PLANNING TO REOPEN JUNE 2021
The Mid Norfolk Railway has announced that the railway is planning to reopen on Wednesday 23 June followed by a Grand Reopening on 26 And 27 June. The reopening assumes the conditions of the Government's Covid-19 roadmap have been met.
The Grand Reopening will feature the debut, in passenger service of the refurbished Maroon Mk1 and 2 coaches hauled by steam engine Standard 4 Tank 80078 and also the first use of the ex Greater Anglia Mk3 coaches. These will be hauled by the newly refurbished class 47, 47596 Aldeburgh Festival in it’s new guise of D1933 in BR Two Tone Green livery.
It is currently expected that initially trains will leave from Dereham and will run non stop to Wymondham Abbey Halt where passengers can leave the train to observe the engine run around but must then rejoin for the journey back to Dereham.
Following the reopening the railway will also offer a reduced programme of special events. The highlight of which will be the visit of the world famous steam engine the Flying Scotsman from 2-17 October. The engine will haul passenger trains each weekend during the visit and be open for visits during the week. A separate announcement will be made at a later date for details on ticket prices, bookings and the timetable for the event.
The first special event for this year will be the return to the railway of the popular 1940s weekend on the 7-8 August . This will be followed over the August Bank Holiday weekend by the return of MNR’s Ales by Rails festival.
The 25-26 September weekend will see the diesel engines based at the railway out in force and this will include a special Gin tasting train on the Sunday.
Following the visit of the Flying Scotsman the Mid Norfolk Railway will be hosting the Rail Car Association's annual meeting on the 23-24 October. This will be followed by a special Halloween train event running on the 30 October only to round off the month.
The 2021 running season will end with the return of a new and improved Polar Express where passengers will travel to the North Pole in style aboard the railway’s Mk3 coaches.
Throughout the year in addition to the special events the MNR will be running a regular programme of Cream Tea trains, the Breckland Fryer fish and chips trains, Jazz evenings and the buffet at Dereham station will also open on the first Wednesday of the month for the return of the popular Biker's evenings.
Full details of all events and ticketing arrangements plus the seasons timetables will appear on the Mid Norfolk Railway website soon. Due to Covid-19 restrictions all tickets for Mid Norfolk Railway services will initially only be available through pre booking using the Mid Norfolk Railway’s brand new website at midnorfolkrailway.co.uk
The railway will re introduce a full service when it is appropriate to do so in line with Government Covid-19 restrictions. The Covid-19 service or the full regular services will then run weekly till the end of October. Timetables will be published on the railway website.
Charlie Robinson, the Chairman of the Mid Norfolk Railway Preservation Trust who own and operate the railway, said: “Everyone at the railway is looking forward to running our passengers services again, it has obviously been a difficult time for everyone, but the railway has survived and we think our varied programme of events will appeal to all and the best way to support the railway is to come along and enjoy a trip through the beautiful Norfolk countryside. Donations to support our ongoing development would also be extremely welcome!”