Photo gallery: Images of Norfolk Railway’s age of steam published for the first time

Back in 1952 train spotting was a way of life for so many young boys. Heres a party posing for the camera during an organised visit around Norwich Thorpe engine sheds on May 17. Are you in the picture or do you recognise anyone? Back in 1952 train spotting was a way of life for so many young boys. Heres a party posing for the camera during an organised visit around Norwich Thorpe engine sheds on May 17. Are you in the picture or do you recognise anyone?

Derek James
Wednesday, March 5, 2014
12:58 PM

They were smelly. They were noisy. They were beautiful – and they were magical. The Iron Horse changed our lives and the shape of Norwich and Norfolk.

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Carrow Bridge, this time on April 10 1953. You can still stand there today and watch the trains, now half hidden by the electric cables, running over a drastically reduced track layout. Look at those signals, towering over the trains. In those days the railway staff had to climb to the top of the posts, whatever the weather, in order to maintain the lamps. The train in the centre is a London express and the one to the right is one used by engineers.Carrow Bridge, this time on April 10 1953. You can still stand there today and watch the trains, now half hidden by the electric cables, running over a drastically reduced track layout. Look at those signals, towering over the trains. In those days the railway staff had to climb to the top of the posts, whatever the weather, in order to maintain the lamps. The train in the centre is a London express and the one to the right is one used by engineers.

Last weekend the annual show staged by members of the Norfolk Railway Society highlighted the wonderful story of how the trains, the tracks and the stations, which first arrived on May 1 1844, were built, developed and then, partly, destroyed.

Today we are proud to publish for the first time just some of the fantastic photographs taken in the city and county during the 1950s and early 60s by the late Roger Harrison, a long-time member of the society and a man who loved the railways with such a passion.

They were selected by Norfolk railway author and historian Richard Adderson and they paint a glorious picture on how our railways looked before all the changes came along and the steam turned into diesel and then electric.

Roger, who died in 2010, was a Norwich man. His father worked at one time for the Norwich Tramway Company and his brother for BR.

Taken at Norwich City Station (now buried under the inner link road) on October 8 1960. The station had been closed to passenger trains in February 1959 and the engine about is about to haul an enthusiasts’ special train which proved to be the last ever passenger train from City Station which was completely closed in 1969. This actual locomotive is now running on the North Norfolk Railway in Sheringham.Taken at Norwich City Station (now buried under the inner link road) on October 8 1960. The station had been closed to passenger trains in February 1959 and the engine about is about to haul an enthusiasts’ special train which proved to be the last ever passenger train from City Station which was completely closed in 1969. This actual locomotive is now running on the North Norfolk Railway in Sheringham.

The Norfolk Railway Society, formed in 1955, has around 100 members, people of all ages and from all walks of life, brought together by a love of trains – not only in this county but across the world.

It is always looking for more members so click on www.norfolkrailwaysociety.org.uk to discover more.

DID YOU KNOW?

• The first electric train came to Norwich on April 8, 1987

• The £7m Crown Point rolling stock service complex at Trowse was opened on October 27 1982, It replaced the former Norfolk Railway/great Eastern/LNER/British Railway works and serving complex. Today is known as Riverside.

• When we think of remote stations Berney Arms halt springs to mind – but another station in Thetford Forest was one equally isolated.

• Just over the border in Suffolk, on the main line between Diss and Stowmarket, there is an unusual length of railway. From a point about one mile north of the village of Mellis, the railway is dead straight for around eight miles.

3 comments

  • My Dad, Geoffrey Baldry, is the first little boy standing to the right of the number 9 on the locomotive. He tells me that he can remember the day the photograph was taken pretty well.

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    Paul

    Thursday, March 6, 2014

  • My Dad, Geoffrey Baldry, is the little boy standing to the right of the number nine.

    Report this comment

    Paul

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

  • East Anglia never recovered from the wholesale closing of many lines,we still have poor roads and inadequate bus services! In the early fifties you could get anywhere cheaply and quickly by rail,now you'd better own a car! The M & GN could take you from Yarmouth to the Midlands no problem! can't do that now!

    Report this comment

    Harry Rabinowitz

    Wednesday, March 5, 2014

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