New manager to take control of expanding heritage line
- Credit: ALLY McGILVRAY
The managing director of the North Norfolk Railway has reiterated his desire to expand the heritage line.
Hugh Harkett made a statement following the appointment of the line's new general manager.
Andrew Munden is currently operations and safety director at Chiltern Railways and will replace the retiring Trevor Eady in the new year.
Welcoming the appointment, Mr Harkett said: 'We are absolutely delighted to have obtained the services of such a high profile railwayman as Andrew Munden at an important time for our expanding heritage line.
'We are now a significant entity in the heritage railway industry with a main line involvement too and we look forward to Andrew leading us into a bright future.'
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The North Norfolk Railway operates heritage steam and diesel services between Sheringham and Holt. Last year it carried in excess of 165,000 passengers and recorded a profit before tax of £200,000.
Earlier this year, Mr Harkett announced plans to further develop the station at Sheringham, following the opening of the new Tourist Information Centre and toilets, as well as the investment in a new boilershop at Weybourne, and run more services onto the neighbouring bittern line to Norwich and beyond.
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His comments followed the success of the new dining car service between Holt and Cromer in the summer and the release of figures which showed the line is on track to another record-breaking year for vistors.
Mr Harkett added: 'We are equally sorry to see Trevor Eady retiring from the gneral manager role. Trevor has played a huge part in developing new services at the NNR and has contributed significantly towards the increase in business to its current level.'
Mr Munden has been described as a career railwayman with a detailed and extensive knowledge of the network as well as having interests in heritage railways.
He has held senior roles and has been involved in all aspects of the industry including signalling and train operations, fleet, infrastructure and performance management.
His position at Chiltern Railways includes having a seat on its Board of Directors and he has been instrumental in delivering new trains and services, including the new railway line to Oxford Parkway. Before moving to Chiltern at Marylebone, Mr Munden was the Route Director for Network Rail, Anglia Region, and has an extensive knowledge of the infrastructure in the area.
He will start working at the North Norfolk Railway on February 1, 2017 and is looking to relocate as soon as he can. His wife Jo is a Doctor in General Practice and hopes to find similar opportunity in Norfolk.
Looking forward to his new role, Mr Munden said: 'The North Norfolk Railway is an institution visited by over a hundred and fifty thousand people every year seeking to experience a ride aboard an historic steam train through an area of natural beauty. I am honoured to have been asked to join the company and thrilled at the prospect of taking the helm at a special time especially with the development of services to Cromer.'