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The Bure Valley Railway is a minimum gauge heritage railway in Norfolk, within The Broads National Park.The railway runs from Wroxhammarker to Aylshammarker ( ) and is Norfolk's longest railway of less than standard gauge. It uses both steam and diesel locomotives. There are intermediate halts at Bramptonmarker, Buxtonmarker and Coltishallmarker. There are 17 bridges, including a -long girder bridge over the River Buremarker in Buxton with Lammasmarker as well as Aylsham Bypass Tunnelmarker under the A140 at Aylshammarker.


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 Norwichmarker to Cromermarker, with an extension from Wroxhammarker to Aylshammarker 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. , as it was then known, closed for goods in 1964, and Aylsham and Coltishallmarker 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 Reephammarker originally went further to a junction at County School Stationmarker; 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 and .

Coal traffic continued to be carried from via Aylshammarker 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.

This traffic ended in 1981 and the line through Aylsham formally closed on 6 January 1982. A weed-killing train ran in 1983 and track-lifting trains ran the following year.


The Bure Valley Railway opened on July 10th 1990, and a long distance footpath (rail trail) opened alongside it in 1991. It is currently home to Norfolk's only operationalmarker railway tunnel, which carries the railway under the Aylsham Bypass. The only other tunnelmarker, in Cromermarker, is disused.


No. Name Livery Locomotive type Wheel
In Traffic?
1 Wroxham Broad Light Blue Steam 2-6-4T Yes
6 Blickling Hall Midland Crimson Lake Steam 2-6-2 Yes
7 Spitfire Brunswick Green Steam 2-6-2 Yes
8 Thunder BR Lined Black Steam 2-6-2T No
9 Mark Timothy Madderlake Steam 2-6-4T Yes
3 2nd Air Division USAAF Golden Ochre Diesel Bo-Bo Yes
4 Awaiting Naming Orange Diesel 0-4-0 Yes
5 Toby Brown Diesel 0-4-0 Rarely

When the railway first opened, several locomotives were hired from the Romney, Hythe and Dymchurch Railwaymarker, including: Southern Maid, Samson and Winston Churchill.


The track is laid to a gauge of . The railway is operated by a fleet of five steam and three diesel locomotives. Passenger rolling stock consists of 26 fully-enclosed bogie carriages and two four-wheel brake vans. Trains almost always include carriages capable of accommodating wheelchairs. Approximately half the carriages are equipped with electric heating, for winter services.

The Friends of the Bure Valley Railway

The Friends of the Bure Valley Railway (FoBVR) is the volunteer supporting group for the Bure Valley Railway. It owns locomotive number 4 and supports the railway financially and with regular working parties of volunteers. There is a hut at Aylsham which sells second hand magazines during the season to support the Friends.

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