Wymondham railway station

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Wymondham National Rail
Wymondham station (6385179829).jpg
Place Wymondham
Local authority South Norfolk
Grid reference TG114009
Station code WMD
Managed by Abellio Greater Anglia
Number of platforms 2
DfT category F1
Live arrivals/departures, station information and onward connections
from National Rail Enquiries
Annual rail passenger usage*
2010/11 Increase 0.138 million
2011/12 Increase 0.157 million
2012/13 Increase 0.168 million
2013/14 Increase 0.178 million
2014/15 Increase 0.182 million
Key dates Opened 30 July 1845 (30 July 1845)
National RailUK railway stations
* Annual estimated passenger usage based on sales of tickets in stated financial year(s) which end or originate at Wymondham from Office of Rail and Road statistics. Methodology may vary year on year.

Wymondham railway station is on the Breckland Line in the east of England, serving the town of Wymondham, Norfolk. The line runs between Cambridge in the west and Norwich in the east.


The Bill for the Norwich & Brandon Railway (N&BR) received Royal Assent on 10 May 1844. Work started on the line in 1844 and the line and its stations were opened on 30 July 1845. Wymondham station opened with the line and was, when it opened, situated east of Spooner Row station and west of Spink's Lane station. The line ran from Ely to Trowse, in Norwich. The link into Norwich was delayed due to the need to build a bridge over the River Wensum that kept the river navigable. One month before the N&BR opened a Bill authorising the amalgamation of the Yarmouth & Norwich Railway with the N&BR came into effect and so Wymondham station became a Norfolk Railway asset.

In November 1845 Spink's Lane station was closed for good as the Norfolk Railway Board determined that two stations in one small Norfolk town was overkill. With the closure of Spink's Lane the next station east of Wymondham became Hethersett.[1]

On 15 February 1847 Wymondham became a junction station as the Norfolk Railway opened a branch line to Dereham. The first station on the branch after Wymondham was Kimberley.

The NR closed Spooner Row station in September 1847. So the next station in the Ely direction became Attleborough.

In May, the following year the ECR and its rival the Eastern Union Railway (EUR) were both sizing up the NR to acquire and expand their railway empire. The ECR trumped the EUR by taking over the NR, including Wymondham Station on 8 May 1848.

7 years after the ECR took over it decided to reopen Spooner Row station on 1 December 1855.

5 years after reopening the ECR reclosed Spooner Row station on 1 August 1860.

2 years after Spooner Row re-closed the railways in East Anglia were in financial trouble, and most were leased to the Eastern Counties Railway, which wished to amalgamate formally but could not obtain government agreement for this until an Act of Parliament on 7 August 1862, when the Great Eastern Railway (GER) was formed by the amalgamation. Actually, Wymondham became a GER station on 1 July 1862 when the GER took over the ECR and the EUR before the Bill received the Royal Assent.[4]<CJ Allen - Great Eastern - page46>

19 years after the GER was formed the GER promoted a Bill to build a cut-off line from Forncett on the Ipswich-Norwich line to the Norwich-Ely line at Wymondham. Work started in 1880 and the line opened on 2 May 1881. The next station South was Ashwellthorpe.

In the following year, 1882, after the line to Forncett opened the GER decided to reopen Spooner Row on 01-Mar-1882.

The system settled down for the next 4 decades, apart from the disruption of First World War. The difficult economic circumstances that existed after World War 1 led the Government to pass the Railways Act 1921 which led to the creation of the Big Four. The GER was absorbed into the London & North Eastern Railway (LNER). Wymondham became a LNER station on 1 January 1923.

16 years after the LNER took over World War 2 started on 1 September 1939 with the UK declaring war on Germany 2 days later on 3 September 1939. 7 days later the Forncett cut-off line was closed.

8 years later, the War over, in 1947, the Government of the day passed the Transport Act which nationalised the Big Four and created British Railways (BR). On 1 January 1948 Wymondham became a BR station.

14 years after BR was created steam had gone and Wymondham Station was now served by Diesel trains.

7 years after steam had gone BR, as part of the Beeching rationalisation, closed the line to Dereham so Wymondham ceased to be a junction on 6 October 1969.

A generation after the Dereham line closed the Major Government passed the Railways Act 1993 which privatised the ownership and management of the track on 1 April 1994.

Three years after Railtrack took over the track, in 5 January 1997 train services serving Wymondham were privatised with most services passing to Anglia Railways and services towards the West Midlands were taken over by Central Trains on 2 March 1997.

5 years after the train operating companies took over (2002) the infrastructure company got into serious problems following serious train accidents where poor track maintenance was to blame, Hatfield was the most notorious. So, the Government of the day restructured Railtrack and formed a new company called Network Rail.

Two years after Railtrack disappeared, on 1 April 2004 Anglia trains handed over their franchise to National Express-East Anglia (NE-EA). NE-EA trains were branded as One. Three years later, on 11 Nov 2007 the Central Trains franchise was broken up and services to Norwich were taken over by East Midland Trains who still run that franchise today (Feb-2016).

In 2005 National Express East Anglia, then the operating company, reopened a ticket office at the station, 39 years after it went unstaffed under British Railways.

Four years (2008) after NE-EA took over train services the "One" brand was dropped and the National Express name predominated. One year later (2009) deep into the financial recession, NX walked away from the East Coast franchise and so the Government announced that the NX-EA franchise would not be extended for three years in 2011.

Until 2009 there was a telegraph pole route still in operation between Wymondham and Brandon. This was removed gradually during the early part of 2009 and was the last section remaining in England and one of the last remaining in the United Kingdom. In 2012 the local signal box was closed and the semaphore signalling was replaced by lightweight LED signals controlled from Cambridge.

The local signal box, Mid Norfolk Railway line to the right, and old rolling stock! pictured in 2009

The Coalition Government did give short extensions to NX-EA until Feb 2012. By then the Government granted the franchise to Abellio-Greater Anglia (AGA). AGA took over on 5 Feb 2012 and was extended to October this year (2016).

Last year (2015) the Government nationalised Network Rail so only the Train Operating Companies remained private.

Wymondham is situated between Spooner Row and Norwich, 113 miles 72 chains (183.3 km) down-line from London Liverpool Street via Ely. The station is managed by Abellio Greater Anglia, which also operates most of the services calling at the station. Some East Midlands Trains also stop at Wymondham.

Mid Norfolk Railway[edit]

Wymondham is also the junction of the Mid-Norfolk Railway, a heritage railway route to Dereham, although those services operate from a separate station named Wymondham Abbey which is approximately one mile from Wymondham, (The MNR in-fact plans to extend closer to the mainline station, at Wymondham Junction). Wymondham was also once the junction of a branch line via Ashwellthorpe to Forncett.


As of December 2015, from Monday to Saturday there is typically one train per hour eastbound to Norwich operated by Abellio Greater Anglia. There are also four trains per day to Norwich operated by East Midlands Trains.

There is typically one train per hour westbound to Cambridge operated by Abellio Greater Anglia. There are two trains per day to Ely operated by East Midlands Trains; from Ely these services continue to Liverpool Lime Street via Peterborough and Nottingham.[2]

On Sundays there is typically one train per hour to Norwich and one to Cambridge, operated by Abellio Greater Anglia.

Rolling stock[edit]

Until 2010 three items of rolling stock were displayed on a short section of isolated line laid close to the station, originally intended to house a camping coach. These were Drewry 0-4-0 diesel shunter VF D297 DC 2583 of 1956, disguised as a Class 04 tram locomotive, a British Railways tube wagon and DS55466, and a LBSCR 25 ton brake van, formerly used as Stratford crane mess van. The wagons have since been relocated to Whitwell & Reepham railway station, with the locomotive moving to the Bressingham Steam Museum.

Possible developments[edit]

The preserved Mid Norfolk Railway has proposed extending that line to an adjacent station, which would offer easy interchange with main line services. More ambitiously, the proposed Norfolk Orbital Railway would see services restored between Wymondham and the Norfolk coast. This would involve use of the track owned by the Mid Norfolk Railway. Wymondham Abbey would be the next station northwards.


  1. ^ C.J. Allen[full citation needed]
  2. ^ GB eNRT December 2015 Edition, Tables 17 & 49 (Network Rail)

External links[edit]

Preceding station   National Rail National Rail   Following station
Abellio Greater Anglia
Limited services
East Midlands Trains
Limited services
Heritage railways
Interchange with Wymondham Abbey on the Mid-Norfolk Railway
Historical railways
Line and station open
Eastern Region of British Railways Terminus
Line and station open
Norfolk Railway
Line open, station closed
Disused railways
Terminus London and North Eastern Railway
Wymondham to Forncett, via Ashwellthorpe
Line and station closed
  Future services  
Wymondham Abbey
Line closed, station open
  Norfolk Orbital Railway
Mid-Norfolk Railway

Coordinates: 52°33′53″N 1°07′04″E / 52.56484°N 1.11765°E / 52.56484; 1.11765