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The North Norfolk Railway -- also known as the "Poppy Line" -- is a heritage steam railway in Norfolk, Englandmarker, running between the coastal town of Sheringhammarker and Holtmarker, which is further inland. The railway cuts through the countryside to the east of Weybourne with views of its windmillmarker and passes through the well preserved country station which also houses a locomotive shed together with a carriage maintenance and restoration centre. The Norfolk Orbital Railway, an independent organisation, has plans to join and link the NNR with the Mid-Norfolk Railwaymarker.


'City of Truro', pictured here at Holt station, visited the railway in 2005
The line, which is just over long, once formed part of the Midland and Great Northern Joint Railway. At Sheringhammarker, it is divided from the National Rail network by just the width of a road and there are plans to reinstate the connection with an 'occasional use' level crossing.

There are two stops between Sheringham and Holt, Weybournemarker (actually about from the village and the former Army camp) and Kelling Heathmarker.

The NNR operates both steam- and diesel-hauled services, and organizes a programme of seasonal special events. A museum has been built at Holt to display some of the lines many artifacts from the Midland and Great Northern Railway. The station building at Holt was originally built at Stalhammarker in 1883 and in 2002 was moved, brick by brick, to be re-erected in its current location at Holt. This project was awarded second place in the 2006 railway buildings competition by the Heritage Railways Association of the UK. The signal box, which can also been seen at the station, is over 100 years old even though it has yet to be commissioned by the NNR. The full signalling system at Holt is expected to be complete by 2009 although some signals have already been erected. The box was formerly located at Upper Portland Sidings in the East Midlands.

The Railway won the 'Independent Railway of the Year' award in 2006.

Work on rebuilding the line started in 1965, and on 4 June 1967, two steam locomotives were delivered. The operating company, North Norfolk Railway plc, was launched in 1965 following the granting of two Light Railway Orders. In May 1973, the railway was the scene of filming of the episode The Royal Train of the popular TV programme Dad's Army.Another scheme, the Norfolk Orbital Railway plans to link the town to the market town at Fakenhammarker.

At Weybourne, the main restoration sheds are located. They incorporate room to accommodate four standard length British Railways Mark 1 coaches and six large steam or diesel locomotives. New carriage storage sheds have been built near Holt with Heritage Lottery Funding.


The railway is operated mainly by volunteers. There is also a Junior club for members who are aged between 10 and 15. Every year there is a volunteer of the year award and also the 'John D Hammer' trophy for the 'Junior volunteer of the year'.

The future

There are several major and minor improvements planned for the railway, some short term and others long term. Recently the railway has pushed for a main line connection to the Bittern Line. A crossing to the line would mean twelve crossings or so a year, bringing in tours and visiting engines to the railway that cannot be brought in by road. As a short timescale meant the crossing could not be done by early 2009, it is planned for it to be completed by early 2010.Another project is to rebuild the buildings on Platform 2 at Sheringham station. These buildings were demolished and it is an aim to rebuild them to provide more space and toilets at the station. The stanchions for the project are at Weybourne. This is seen as a medium to long term project.Part of the project would also see a footbridge replaced to complete the original station look.

Holt station is also being developed; its progress has been rapid over the last few years. Projects include reinstating the weighbridge from Cambridge station and putting up a footbridge, also putting up a mock 'carriage house' to replicate the houses made with old railway carriages in the war years.

Motive power

Steam locomotives

Austerity 90775

Operational steam locomotives

Steam locomotives undergoing overhaul, restoration or light repairs

61572 undergoing overhaul

Steam locomotives awaiting overhaul or restoration

34081 'No.
92 Squadron' awaiting restoration

Diesel locomotives

Operational diesel locomotives

Class 31 31207 at Weybourne station

Diesel locomotives undergoing overhaul, repairs, restoration or stored out of service

  • BR 0-6-0 Class 03 no. D2051 (stored out of service)
  • BR 0-6-0 Class 04 no. D2280 (stored out of service)
  • BR 0-6-0 Class 08 no. 08767 (stored out of service)

  • BR Co-Co Class 37 no. D6732 'Mirage' (Undergoing Major Overhaul)
  • BR Co-Co Class 47 no. 47367

Diesel multiple units

Operational diesel multiple units

Diesel multiple units undergoing overhaul, repairs or restoration

LEV1 at Weybourne station
  • BR Railbus No. LEV1 Undergoing an asbestos survey before entering service. New seat fittings being sourced.
  • BR Railbus no. E79963

On-track plant

  • TRAMM – DR 98801 ex-Balfour Beatty Track Renewal & Maintenance Machine (operational)

Rolling stock

Coaching stock

BR Mark 1 carriages

Number Built for Type Notes
E3868 British Railways Mk1 TSO Maroon – has operational toilets
M4236 British Railways Mk1 TSO Maroon
E4521 British Railways Mk1 TSO Maroon (Stored, out of service)
E4641 British Railways Mk1 TSO Maroon
E4651 British Railways Mk1 TSO Maroon – has an area for pushchairs/cycles at one end
E4667 British Railways Mk1 TSO Maroon
E4843 British Railways Mk1 TSO Maroon
M4372 British Railways Mk1 SO Blue-Grey (Stored, out of service)
M4796 British Railways Mk1 SO Deep blue (Stored, out of service)
M3106 British Railways Mk1 FO Maroon (Stored, out of service)
M3116 British Railways Mk1 FO Crimson/Cream Dining Train Vehicle
M26012 British Railways Mk1 SK Maroon
M25189 British Railways Mk1 SK Maroon
M15997 British Railways Mk1 CK Blue (Stored, out of service)
E1969 British Railways Mk1 RBR Crimson/cream.
GE21103 British Railways Mk1 BCK Maroon – specially adapted for wheelchairs
W35148 British Railways Mk1 BSK Maroon – specially adapted for wheelchairs
M81033 British Railways Mk1 BG(K) Maroon – mobile kitchen vehicle
M81369 British Railways Mk1 BG Maroon – not in public use

BR Mark 3 carriage

Number Built for Type Notes
10525 British Railways Mk3 SLEP Maroon – volunteer sleeping accommodation.

Suburban coaches

Number Built for Type Notes
43041 British Railways Mk1 CL Maroon – stored out of view, out of service.
43044 British Railways Mk1 CL Maroon – stored out of view, out of service.
46147 British Railways Mk1 S Crimson – stored, out of service.
43357 British Railways Mk1 BS Maroon – in service, ex. BS(G)
43359 British Railways Mk1 BS Maroon – stored out of view, out of service.

The Quart Art set at Sherringham Station

Pre-nationalisation coaches

Number Built for Type Notes
E9128E LNER Gresley Buffet (RB) Crimson/Cream – stored, out of service.
70621 LNER Brake Gangwayed (BG) Stored, out of service.
295 Great Eastern Railway Brake Third Corridor (BTK) Stored, out of service.
52256 LNER Tourist Third Open (TTO) Stored, out of service.
E12493E LNER Brake Third Corridor (TK) Static use, activity coach.
48861–48864 LNER Quadrupled articulated coaches (BT-T-T-T) In service for major events.
6843 LNER Pigeon Van (BYP) Lined teak, operational.
853 Great Eastern Railway BTY Stored, out of service.
129 Midland and Great Northern Joint Railway TZ In service in special occasions; still a little bit of work to do.
3 Midland and Great Northern Joint Railway TY Start of restoration, in Weybourne for investigation.

Tram car

Number Built for Type Notes
7 Wisbech and Upwell Tramway Tram Car Undergoing overhaul.

Brake vans

Number Built for Notes
M750133 London Midland and Scottish Railway 20T, vacuum brake, operational.
55167 Southern Railway Hand brake, operational. Built at Ashford works.
12 Midland and Great Northern Joint Railway Undergoing restoration.Used in Melton Constable breakdown train and built in 1881. Restoration in advanced stage possible completion by September steam gala.


Other Heritage Railways and Museums in Norfolk:

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