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

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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

6 comments

  • Agreed, would take much traffic off the roads and put a stop to these silly bus lanes blah,blah.

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    nrg

    Friday, October 19, 2012

  • How many people's garden did MNR ruin to provide this service and how many mature trees were cut down?

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    J.island

    Saturday, October 20, 2012

  • What are the people arriving on the Saturday morning train going to do for 7 hours in Dereham before they return to Norwich?

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    Betty Swallocks

    Friday, October 19, 2012

  • There should be a regular service on this route but the local Tory MPs only seem to be interested in the Norwich to London route.

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    I LoveNorfolk

    Friday, October 19, 2012

  • To correct the article, the through trains will be the first 'turn up and go' services, rather than private charter trains, to run from Norwich to Dereham since the MNR began operations. A similar service was operated by BRs Norwich Division on a 'Rail Day' in 1981, after the line had been closed to regular passengers but still remained open for freight traffic. They will also be the first-ever scheduled services from Norwich to Wymondham Abbey Halt (only built since the MNR re-opened the route as a heritage line) and the last passenger trains to be signalled to and from the Dereham branch line by the 1877-built signalbox at Wymondham South Junction, which is due for decomissioning in a few weeks time as part of the Norwich to Ely resignalling scheme.

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    David Mann

    Friday, October 19, 2012

  • Thank you David for supplying that additional information - it's good to have the full story. To respond to Betty, presumably the Mid-Norfolk Railway will be running heritage trains between Dereham and Wymondham Abbey from where people can make their way to Wymondham Station for a train to Norwich. Alternatively they can buy a single ticket and come back on the bus.

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    JCW

    Friday, October 19, 2012

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