No steam locomotives are presently based on the line, with the Mid-Norfolk hiring steam locomotives based on other railways for use during the Summer season and most remaining services utilising diesel traction. Sentinel 4wVBT 9596 "George" and Robert Stephenson and Hawthorns 0-4-0ST 7818 "Castle Donington Power Station No. 2" are stored in the former yard at Yaxham, independently of the MNR. Details of locomotives hired in for the Summer season can be found towards the bottom of this page.
The line is also home to the frames of a Great Eastern Railway tender, fitted with an original axle from LNER Class B17 2802 'Walsingham', and a London and North Eastern Railway tender which have been secured by the Sandringham Locomotive Company project, who intend to build a replica of a B17 locomotive.
Number & Name
Cockerill 0-4-0 Tram Locomotive
Built in 1907, was stored out of use within sight of passing trains on the Mid-Norfolk and listed in the published stocklist for the line. It has now been restored and has operated on the MNR, though based at Yaxham and currently on loan to the Mid Suffolk Light Railway.
In 2009 the Norfolk Heritage Steam Railway Ltd. purchased locomotive 68012 from the Lavender Line, actually Hunslet Austerity 0-6-0ST 3193, which had been painted to represent a member of LNER Class J94. Although it is hoped to operate the loco on the Mid-Norfolk Railway in the future, at this time it is under restoration on a private site adjacent to Yaxham Station. Once restored, the locomotive will carry its original works number and be named Norfolk Regiment.
Built by English Electric Vulcan Foundry, as works number EE/VF2866/D582, 37003 was released to Stratford depot (30A) as D6703 on 28 December 1960. In April 1963 the locomotive was named "First East Anglian Regiment", but the name was never unveiled. At Tinsley in 1989 37003 was given the unofficial 'painted-on' nameplate "TIGER MOTH", which was carried until she was overhauled at Doncaster in 1992. 37003 was withdrawn from traffic in 1994 and stored at Bescot and Crewe, until purchase by the Class 37 Locomotive Group in 1998. 37003 is currently being restored to allow for mainline charter work. In 2012 the locomotive was named after Dereham Neatherd High School, with full name plates and the school crest. Nameplates removed in 2014.
Built by Brush at Loughborough as works number 695, D1933 was released to Bristol Bath Road in March 1966, although it was allocated to Stratford TMD several times during its career. It was named Aldeburgh Festival by Dr Elizabeth Legg-Schwarzkopf, President of the Friends of Aldeburgh Festival on 8 June 1984, the nameplates being removed in 1993. The locomotive was withdrawn from service in October 2002 after three years in storage.
Built in 1957. Used for static display - although proposed for eventual restoration. Trailer car 56301 was the first diesel multiple unit car to enter preservation in 1969, originally being used at the Chasewater Railway, before spending time at the Uranium Fuel Center, Salwick, and then having a period of storage at the King's Lynn Sugar Factory (between 1996 and 1997, while associated with the aborted National Diesel Railcar Museum project).
51434 and 51503 came from set L836 built in 1959, the last Class 101 based at Norwich where it was used as a route learner. 59117 formed part of set L840 at Reading. They were formerly preserved at the Swindon and Cricklade Railway, owned by railwayman Matthew Smith. At his bequest they moved to Dereham in June '02, under the care of the Class 50 Locomotive Association, and the set has been posthumously named after him.
The former Corkerhill set 695 built 1958/59 arrived at the railway in late 2003. In the last years of its mainline service for Strathclyde PTE, 51226 was shown to have suffered minor damage to the cab end in the Class 101 fire at Mossend. It was repainted into its original green livery before entering service in Norfolk.
One of twenty single car units built for use on the Western Region of British Railways by Gloucester RC&W in 1958. Although the vehicles are of the open saloon type, an entrance door was provided for each bay of ten seats. The unit can seat 65 second class passengers, originally divided between 45 smoking seats and 20 non-smoking and with a 25 cwt luggage capacity. As delivered power was supplied by two 150 b.h.p.British United Traction "A" Type diesel engines. The unit is currently under restoration.
Built for the boat trains from London Victoria to Dover and Folkestone, this unit was fitted with batteries to allow it to operate over short-distances of non-electrified line. Used as hauled stock, for Permanent way workings.
The backbone of the MNR's passenger fleet is formed by British Rail Mark 2 carriages. The Mark 2 coaches of the Mid-Norfolk Railway are divided into three sets. One rake of vacuum-braked maroon liveried coaches, and another of air-braked stock in blue-grey livery. The project to create a complete set of coaches in the blue-grey livery introduced in 1964 was a first in preservation. Several of the coaches feature Edward Pond murals fitted during refurbishment when in Network SouthEast service. The third set, of main line mostly registered coaches that are owned by a group based on the line, were the first in preservation to wear InterCity Executive livery.
The prototype Mk2 coach at Dereham
The air braked Mk2 set
Interior of Mk2 FK compartment with Edward Pond mural.
The Mid-Norfolk Railway also operates British Rail Mark 3 vehicles in service. Mk3a FO 11024, a crash-damaged spares vehicle owned by National Express East Anglia, was stored on the MNR between 2008 and June 2010, and DVT 82104 was stored at Dereham during 2012, but neither was part of the railway's fleet.
Body only, originally an exhibition coach but now workshop and store Was formerly used as a residence, known as 'Sunshine Villa' since 1928. When built would have operated in varnished teak, but was withdrawn wearing GER crimson.
Since the preservation reopening of the line, several items of rolling stock have worked or been based on the Mid-Norfolk Railway, but have since departed. A number of vehicles have also been stripped and partially (or fully) scrapped on the railway. This section details those items (excluding visiting charter and freight locomotives).
While in use at Cambridge Depot the locomotive was named after the only railway loco built in Cambridge, by Hedley Bros at the Eagle Foundry in 1845, for the Norfolk Railway. Preserved 2007, but frequently hired out for mainline use. Sold by owner in 2015, having not been seen at Dereham for a number of years.
56040 was bought by the Class 56 Group in 2005 and arrived on the Mid-Norfolk in September 2006. The locomotive was relocated to the Battlefield Line Railway for repairs in August 2009 but was later scrapped.
56101 'Mutual Improvement'
BR Co-Co Class 56
Brought in to cover for withdrawn 56040. Was based at the Mid-Norfolk until April 2011, moved by rail to Barrow Hill then sold out of preservation and exported to Hungary.
In addition to locomotives based on the line, the Mid-Norfolk Railway has hired a number of diesels to operate service and special event trains. Visiting diesel locomotives that have operated service trains on the preserved Mid-Norfolk Railway are shown in the following table:
Class 73 electro-diesels E6043 and 73210 at Dereham, 2008
Classes 45 and 46 at Dereham, Spring Gala 2010
Class 37s at Thuxton, Autumn Gala 2010
Class 55 approaching Dereham, April 2012
47580 on the morning service to Wymondham Abbey, 19 March 2010