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Take the direct train from Norwich to Dereham for first time since ’69

PUBLISHED: 10:01 19 October 2012

Driver Tom Webb taking the last train from Dereham to Norwich in October 1969. Through trains will run again between town and city this weekend.

Driver Tom Webb taking the last train from Dereham to Norwich in October 1969. Through trains will run again between town and city this weekend.

A little piece of transport history will be made when direct trains run between Norwich and Dereham this weekend.

It will be the first time that through trains have connected city and town since the Dereham to Wymondham branch line closed to passenger trains in 1969.

The Mid Norfolk Railway, which now runs the line as a heritage attraction, has teamed up with East Midlands Trains to run the services tomorrow and on Sunday.

They will coincide with the line’s special weekend tribute to the Diesel Multiple Unit (DMU) railcars, described by the MNR as the unsung heroes of the nation’s rail network over many years.

On Saturday, a train leaves Norwich at 0933, arriving at Dereham at 1034. It returns from Dereham at 1715, arriving back in Norwich at 1837.

On Sunday, through trains leave Norwich at 0915 and 1355, returning from Dereham at 1220 and 1710.

An MNR spokesman said: “We are very grateful to East Midlands Trains for agreeing to participate in this event. These services through to Norwich are the first since the withdrawal of passenger trains on the branch, the final train leaving Dereham for Norwich at 8.45pm on Sunday, October 5, 1969, 43 years ago.

“We are thrilled to be running these services and hope that one day in the future regular passenger services will be back in operation between the town and Norwich.”

The MNR’s Multiple Matters Weekend will feature various versions of the railcars that have been a mainstay of branch lines over the years, including those that operate on the Mid Norfolk Railway and visiting examples.

Full details of fares and tickets for the Norwich-Dereham services and the rest of the event are available by calling the Dereham Station of the MNR on 01362 690633 or by visiting www.mnr.org.uk

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