Downham and Stoke Ferry Railway

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Downham and Stoke Ferry Railway
Locale King's Lynn and West Norfolk
Dates of operation 1882–1898
Successor Great Eastern Railway
Track gauge 4 ft 8 12 in (1,435 mm) standard gauge
Length 7 miles (11 km)
Downham & Stoke
Ferry Railway
Fen Line to King's Lynn
Fen Line to Ely
Abbey and West Dereham
Wissington Tramway
Stoke Ferry

The Downham and Stoke Ferry Railway was a branch line in western Norfolk, England.


The Downham and Stoke Ferry Railway (D&SF) was just over 7 miles (11 km) long.[1] It was authorised on 24 July 1879, and opened on 1 August 1882, being worked by the Great Eastern Railway (GER).[1] It ran from a junction with the GER at Denver (to the south of Downham), to a terminus at Stoke Ferry.[2] There were two intermediate stations: Ryston and Abbey (latterly known as Abbey and West Dereham).[3]

Ownership changes[edit]

On 6 August 1897 an Act of Parliament authorised the GER to absorb the D&SF, which they did on 1 January 1898.[1] Being part of the GER, the line passed to the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) at the Grouping on 1 January 1923.[4]

When the railways were nationalised in 1948 operation of the line became the responsibility of British Railways Eastern Region


The LNER withdrew the passenger service on 22 September 1930.[1]

Freight services were withdrawn from Denver (13 July 1964) Ryston (28 December 1964) Abbey (31 January 1966) and Stoke Ferry (19 July 1965).[5]

The section between Abbey and Stoke Ferry was abandoned on 19 June 1965 but traffic continued to the Wissington Railway until 1982

Wissington Light Railway[edit]

At Abbey and West Dereham, a privately owned line, the Wissington Light Railway, branched off. It opened c. 1905, mostly closed in 1957,[6] and finally closed in 1982.[7]


  1. ^ a b c d Awdry 1990, p. 124.
  2. ^ Allen 1956, p. 218.
  3. ^ Conolly 1976, p. 17, sections F4–F5.
  4. ^ Awdry 1990, pp. 133–4.
  5. ^ Paye 1982, p. 47.
  6. ^ Awdry 1990, p. 243.
  7. ^ Paye 1982, p. 3.


  • Allen, Cecil J. (1956) [1955]. The Great Eastern Railway (2nd ed.). Hampton Court: Ian Allan. 
  • Awdry, Christopher (1990). Encyclopaedia of British Railway Companies. London: Guild Publishing. CN 8983. 
  • Conolly, W. Philip (January 1976). British Railways Pre-Grouping Atlas and Gazetteer (5th ed.). Shepperton: Ian Allan. ISBN 0-7110-0320-3. EX/0176. 
  • Paye, Peter (1982). The Stoke Ferry Branch. Headington: Oxford Publishing Co. ISBN 0 86093 141 2.