Steam Heritage Railway

on the North Norfolk Coast


Norfolk Railways

Yarmouth & Norwich Railway (Y&NR)

was formed to build a line

between the two towns in its name

after it became apparent

that it would be a number of years

before the Eastern Counties Railway

would extend their railway into Norfolk.

Regular passenger operation began on 1 May 1844 

with a passenger service of seven trains each way.

Shortly after, the Norwich & Brandon Railway (N&BR) was authorised to build a line between Norwich and the small town of Brandon.

A month before opening the N&BR and Y&NR had merged via Act of Parliament of 30 June 1845 to form the Norfolk Railway, with 58 route miles.

An extension from Wymondham to Dereham opened on 7 December 1846, and another from Reedham to Lowestoft on 3 May 1847.

At its maximum it ran 94 route miles.

Eastern Counties Railway (ECR) took over the Norfolk Railway by agreement on 2 May 1848.

It had originally been incorporated in 1836 to link London with Ipswich via Colchester, and then extend to Norwich and Yarmouth.

Construction was beset by engineering problems leading to severe financial difficulties and the project was truncated at Colchester in 1843

but through a series of acquisitions, the ECR became the largest of the East Anglian railways.

In 1862 ECR was merged with a number of other smaller companies to form the Great Eastern Railway (GER).

The GER served Cambridge, Chelmsford, Colchester, Great Yarmouth, Ipswich, King’s Lynn, Lowestoft, Norwich,

Southend-on-Sea, and East Anglian seaside resorts such as Hunstanton.