Wherry Lines

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Wherry Lines
Berney Arms railway station 1.jpg
Berney Arms, on the Wherry Lines, is one of the remotest and least-used stations in the country
Type Heavy rail
System National Rail
Status Operational
Locale Norfolk
East of England
Termini Norwich
Great Yarmouth
Owner Network Rail
Operator(s) Abellio Greater Anglia
Character Rural branch line
Rolling stock Class 37
Class 68
Class 153 "Super Sprinter"
Class 156 "Super Sprinter"
Class 170 "Turbostar"
Track length Norwich–Gt. Yarmouth (via Acle): 18.36 mi (29.55 km)
Norwich–Gt. Yarmouth (via Reedham): 20.56 mi (33.09 km)
Norwich–Lowestoft: 23.51 mi (37.84 km)
Number of tracks 1-2
Track gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Wherry Lines
0-00 Norwich
Great Eastern Main Line
to London Liverpool Street
River Yare
(original course)
Bittern Line
to Cromer and Sheringham
4-66 Brundall Gardens
5-60 Brundall
Brundall Junction
7-62 Buckenham
7-78 Lingwood
10-00 Cantley
10-34 Acle
12-13 Reedham
Reedham Junction
15-71 Berney Arms
Breydon Junction
A12 road
Up arrow 18-29
UpperLeft arrow 20-45
Great Yarmouth
River Yare
16-11 Haddiscoe
Haddiscoe Junction
Yarmouth to Beccles Line
River Waveney
18-00 Somerleyton
22-04 Oulton Broad North
East Suffolk Line
to Ipswich
Yarmouth to Lowestoft Line
23-41 Lowestoft

The Wherry Lines are railway lines in England, from Norwich to Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft. These lines pass through The Broads. The line is part of the Network Rail Strategic Route 7, SRS 07.11 and is classified as a rural line.[1] The name of the line is taken from the Norfolk wherries, which played an important role in the transport of goods and people around the broads before road and rail transport became widespread.


The line was first opened from Norwich to Great Yarmouth by the Norwich and Yarmouth Railway in 1844, running via Reedham. The link from Reedham to Lowestoft was added in 1847 by Samuel Morton Peto as part of the Norfolk Railway. Finally, the northern route from Norwich to Great Yarmouth was added in 1882 by the Great Eastern Railway.

Community rail[edit]

On 1 February 2007, the services operating on the line were designated community rail services[2] as part of The Community Rail Development Strategy which aims to increase passenger numbers and income, improve the management of costs, and develop a greater sense of community involvement.[3]


The lines from Norwich to Brundall and on to Lowestoft are double track with the lines between Brundall and Great Yarmouth and Reedham and Great Yarmouth being single track. The line is not electrified, has a loading gauge of W8 except between Lowestoft and Oulton Broad North junction where it is W6, and has a line speed of between 40-60 mph.

Rolling stock[edit]

Passenger services are provided by Abellio Greater Anglia, using Class 153 "Super Sprinter", Class 156 "Super Sprinter" or Class 170 "Turbostar" diesel multiple units. In 2015 Abellio Greater Anglia introduced DRS class 37 locomotive hauled services due to a shortage of rolling stock as the route is not electrified. Nearly all services on the line run to/from Norwich. Some summer Saturday services were extended to/from Liverpool Street via Norwich which ran to/from Great Yarmouth. These services were formed of British Rail Class 90 electric locomotives with Mk3 Coaching Stock, which were dragged from Norwich by a British Rail Class 47 diesel locomotive. The services have now ceased favouring connections with existing local services, this is due to the complexity of the couple/uncoupling and other issues which led to poor reliability of the "mainline drags".


  1. ^ "Route 7 – Great Eastern" (PDF). Network Rail. Retrieved 2009-05-20. 
  2. ^ "Community rail – new life for local lines". Department for Transport. 
  3. ^ "Community Rail Development Strategy". Department for Transport. 

External links[edit]