Celebrating 175 years of the Great Yarmouth to Norwich railway: 1844-2019




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Brundall station

First opened in 1844, the railway connecting the city of Norwich and the coast at Great Yarmouth is now part of the Greater Anglia operated Wherry Lines, and to celebrate this special 175th anniversary, the Wherry Lines Community Rail Partnership invites you to join the celebrations.

Authorised by Parliament in 1842, proposers of the new line appointed Robert Stephenson as chairman and George Stephenson as engineer with construction undertaken by Messrs Grissel and Peto.

The original route ran via Brundall, Cantley and Reedham and work began 1843.

A ceremonial opening took place on 30 April 1844 with the first passenger trains running the following day.

After construction, Samuel Morton Peto, who had purchased both the Somerleyton Estate and Lowestoft Harbour, obtained permission to create another railway east of Reedham to Lowestoft which opened in the summer of 1847.

A second route from Norwich to Yarmouth via Lingwood and Acle was opened in 1883 and it is these routes that form the modern-day Wherry Lines.

Brundall Gardens Halt, funded privately by Norfolk Cinema impresario F.H. Cooper, opened in 1924. The bottom picture shows the railway coach on the platform which was used as a waiting room at Brundall Gardens,

Brundall Local History Group is hosting a free talk on the railway after its AGM on Thursday July 25 - see the panel on the right for this and other events.

early 1900s train at Brundall

gk collection brundall halt

More photos on our railway page.

Interested in the history of our railways? The Museum of the Broads at Stalham Staithe is holding an exhibition this summer on Norfolk's lost railway - the line which ran through Potter Heigham to the coast taking thousands of holidaymakers to the seaside. The M&GN line ran from North Walsham to Great Yarmouth for over 70 years until February 1959, linking up with the main rail network.  Opening times and prices on the museum's own website.

175th anniversary events

The Wherry Lines Community Rail Partnership has joined with community groups and station volunteers along the route to host this programme of events and activities:

175 years Young: An exhibition of the past, present and future of the Norwich to Great Yarmouth railway.

Organised by the East Norfolk Transport Users’ Association (www.entua.org.uk).

The show will tour towns and villages along the route:

Great Yarmouth Library: 29 April-12 May
Gorleston Library: 20 May-1 June

Brundall Co-op & Post Office: 3-15 June

Reedham Community Centre: 18-23 June
Reedham Station Heritage Room: 24-30 June

Family Fun Event
Saturday 8 June, 10.00am-noon.
Hosted by the ‘Blue’ Co-Op, The Street, Brundall. Find out more about the railway and take part in a family competition with prizes.

Free Guided Walk
Sunday 5 May at 11.15.
Starting from Buckenham Station (connecting out of 10.58 from Norwich and 09.46 from Lowestoft). This will be led by Trevor Garrod.

The 5-mile walk will follow paths and tracks past the church and over the ridge to Strumpshaw village. Then via quiet roads, past Strumpshaw Hall to Strumpshaw Fen RSPB reserve ending with a stroll along the lane to Buckenham station.
For those preferring a slightly shorter walk, it is possible to go from the centre of Strumpshaw to Lingwood Station.

Visit: https://wherrylines.com/days-out/

Tea Party at Reedham Station.
May 11,  2-4pm.

The Heritage Room at Reedham Station will be open to visitors from 24-30 June.

Talk: 175 Years Young, by Trevor Garrod, Chairman of the East Suffolk Travellers' Association,
Brundall Memorial Hall, Thursday 25th July 7.30pm.
Hosted by Brundall Local History Group following its AGM. Free event. All welcome.