Mid Norfolk Railway receives boost from Network Rail

Mid Norfolk Railway assets Photo: Mid Norfolk Railway

Mid Norfolk Railway assets Photo: Mid Norfolk Railway - Credit: Mid Norfolk Railway

Redundant assets from rail improvements in Great Yarmouth have been given to the Mid Norfolk Railway (MNR).

People behind the MNR approached Network Rail about obtaining the assets for their own extension plans.

The MNR operate the preserved line between Wymondham and Dereham.

Last year the team for the Norwich Yarmouth Lowestoft project improved the railway at Great Yarmouth by removing all of the old mechanical points and installing power operated points in their place.

Once the work was completed there was a large amount of point rodding, cranks, compensators, roller stools and associated fittings left over.

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While many people would see this as scrap, to the people working on heritage railways, these are highly sought after components.

After establishing that the equipment was not required elsewhere in the area, the supply chain organisation (SCO) was contacted to find out how the MNR could get the kit.

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A gifting form was submitted to the SCO offering free labour by the MNR staff. This was approved and a series of dates were set up to start the recoveries.

Project sponsor, Jared Aspinall said: 'This was a well co-ordinated and well managed piece of work allowing redundant, historic railway parts to be removed and reused on the Mid Norfolk Heritage Railway.

Charlie Robinson, chairman of the MNR, said: 'We are extremely grateful for the opportunity to partner with Network Rail in order to recover the redundant equipment from Great Yarmouth.

'It is a great example of collaboration with a win-win for all parties. By being granted access to dismantle the run we get to recover it in a condition suitable for reuse on the heritage railway and it will allow us to progress the signalling at Dereham and develop the heritage railway.

'In return, the costs of recovery are reduced for Network Rail, where it might not have been economically viable before.'

The point rodding and associated parts have now been fully recovered at Great Yarmouth by the volunteers from the Mid Norfolk Railway, totalling 240 hours of labour. All the parts are now on their way to Dereham to help complete the next stage of the extension plans.

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