Bure Valley Railway

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The Bure Valley Railway is a 1 ft 3 in (381 mm) minimum gauge heritage railway in Norfolk, within The Broads National Park. The railway runs from Wroxham to Aylsham (9 miles / 14.5 kilometres) and is Norfolk's longest railway of less than standard gauge. It uses both steam and diesel locomotives. There are intermediate halts at Brampton, Buxton and Coltishall. There are 17 bridges, including a 105 ft (32 m) long girder bridge over the River Bure in Buxton with Lammas as well as Aylsham Bypass Tunnel under the A140 at Aylsham.

Contents

History

The railway is built on the trackbed of the East Norfolk Railway (ENR). The ENR started in 1877 when the East Norfolk Railway opened from Norwich to Cromer, with an extension from Wroxham to Aylsham in 1880. The ENR was taken over by the Great Eastern Railway in 1882, which was amalgamated into the London & North Eastern Railway in 1923. The railway was nationalised in 1948.

In 1952 the passenger service stopped, but the freight service continued. Buxton Lammas, as it was then known, closed for goods in 1964, and Aylsham and Coltishall in 1974.

Freight trains continued to run over the line after this for two principal sources of traffic. The line west of Aylsham via Cawston and Reepham originally went further to a junction at County School Station; by this time it instead turned south via a new curve at Themelthorpe to join a fragment of the old Midland and Great Northern system to reach Lenwade and Norwich City.

Coal traffic continued to be carried from Norwich Thorpe via Aylsham to Norwich City - a fantastic trip around Norfolk just to cross Norwich! There was also regular traffic from Lenwade in the form of concrete building components.

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