WATCH: Mid Norfolk heritage railway run first service stopping at Hardingham for fifty years
PUBLISHED: 17:09 17 September 2018 | UPDATED: 17:09 17 September 2018
From being awarded a £100,00 EU grant to featuring in a hit new BBC thriller, it's been a busy year for one of Norfolk's heritage railway lines.
And now the Mid Norfolk Railway (MNR), based in Dereham, which welcomed filming for BBC drama series Bodyguard earlier this year, has reopened one of its award-winning platforms, almost fifty years to the day after a train last passed through the station.
Track renewal was carried out at Hardingham station, along the MNR line between Dereham and Wymondham, as part of the railway’s partnership with Greater Anglia to supply storage and commissioning facilities for a fleet of new Stadler Flirt trains.
And on Wednesday, September 12, at 11am, a train stopped at the station for the very first time since September 9, 1968.
MNR general manager George Saville said: “The whole thing went really well.
“It’s all part of the storage contract that we’ve got with Greater Anglia for their new trains.
“Hardingham station is privately owned but we own the track and the platforms so we’ve got everything we need to run trains.”
Trains running between Dereham and Wymondham stopped at Hardingham station throughout the day.
Mr Saville added that the MNR expects the station to feature in future services.
He said: “It’s been a busy year for us. It is all part of our expansion plan.
“We’ve expanded in a big way and we’re working on some new things.”
The MNR used a British Railways steam locomotive 80078 to run the services through Hardingham last week.
A spokesperson for the railway line also described the past year as “very successful” for the MNR.
The grant from the EU could enable the line to create up to eight jobs and teach traditional skills as apprenticeships.
And Mr Saville added that the railway was now being approached more regularly as a location for film and TV.
He said: “We’re now finding we are getting approached more and more. A German beer company came and spent the week with us last month and the station was turned into a German railway station.
“We are hoping the Mid Norfolk Railway will attract more film and television crews in the future.”