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Final days of Sheringham to Melton Constable rail line recalled in special weekend

11:00 31 March 2014

Final day of rail services at Melton Constable in April 1964. Picture: RICHARD ADDERSON

Final day of rail services at Melton Constable in April 1964. Picture: RICHARD ADDERSON

Archant

The final days of a rural train line will be recalled on a Norfolk heritage railway next weekend.

April 1964 saw the last passenger trains running between Sheringham and Melton Constable on what had been the previously bustling Midland and Great Northern Railway.

But the line which once rattled to the clack of carriages carrying holidaymakers, commuters and freight slowly began to fall silent between the 1930s and 60s.

Melton, which was dubbed the Crewe of North Norfolk during its heyday as the engineering hub of the local network, lost its works to Stratford as the “Muddle and Get Nowhere” was absorbed into the larger London North Eastern Railway.

Most of the line shut in February 1959 leaving Melton as the terminus. Then passenger trains also finished in early April 1964.

The North Norfolk Railway, which still runs part of the M and G N route, will be recalling those seminal days during a special They Thought It was All Over weekend on April 5 and 6.

Manager Trevor Eady said there would be a regular service run by the kind of Diesel Multiple Unit railcar which did the last services.

But it will end its journey at Holt - as the track no longer exists to Melton Constable.

Mr Eady said: “It was the beginning of the end for that part of the line.”

The heritage railway would also be running a Class 37 mainline diesel, and a renumbered Standard 4 steam loco reflecting the days when steam and diesel were running alongside each other.

Visitors were being invited to turn up in 1960s dress, and bring along any classic vehicles from the era, he added.

The Poppy Line attraction had a record 158,000 visitors last year, and is continuing to invest for the future.

Behind the scenes a new machine shop is being added at the Weybourne depot during April to help the boiler overhaul work it is now doing.

And there were longer term plans at Sheringham involving possibly taking over the district council-owned public toilets and tourist information centre next to the station, but the railway was still looking at funding, said Mr Eady.

For information about the 1960s event call 01263 820800 or visit www.nnrailway.co.uk.

3 comments

  • railwatcher. It would be a bit difficult as the Holt bypass is where the rail track used to run. Should we replace the bypass with a steam railway??

    Report this comment

    Lord Elf

    Tuesday, April 1, 2014

  • Lord E - that's not a problem. www.norfolk-orbital-railway.co.uk explains.

    Report this comment

    Railwatcher

    Tuesday, April 1, 2014

  • Perhaps the North Norfolk Railway could also help by being a bit more enthusiastic about the prospect of restoring public service trains to Holt (that's proper Holt, not High Kelling where they have their "Holt" station).

    Report this comment

    Railwatcher

    Monday, March 31, 2014

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