"Norfolk Hero" leaving the station at Wells next-the-sea.
"Norfolk Heroine" heads towards Walsingham during commissioning trials in April 2011.
Having enjoyed a journey on our unique Railway you probably would like to find out more about its operation and the people who run it. There are two ways in which you could become associated with the WWLR:
*ASSOCIATION Join the Railway's Support Group. Click here to download a form.
*LIFE PASS Purchase a £125 Life Pass for unlimited free travel. Click here to download a form.
THE WELLS & WALSINGHAM RAILWAY SUPPORT GROUP is our Members- Association. Its purposes are threefold:
*Information on activities and developments through the thrice-yearly Newsletter and the AGM.
*Facilitating the developments of the Railway through fund-raising, support services, purchase of equipment & rolling stock,and publicity.
*Organisation of volunteer participation in the Railway.
VOLUNTEERS. The help given by our small enthusiastic band of volunteers is essential to the smooth running of the railway. So if you are interested in railways, steam locomotives and you have time to spare, then we would like to hear from you. We currently have vacancies for trainee engine drivers, guards and station masters, helpers in our teashop, but will always welcome anybody who can offer a few hours to help with the general day to day running of the railway. No experience is necessary for any of these positions as full training will be given. If you are interested in joining our happy band of volunteers and would like more information, then please contact our Publicity Officer, Richard Mountstephen on 01787 372603. Please leave details of your name, daytime or evening landline telephone number, together with the best time of day to return your call.
Membership costs £17 per year and includes an annual season ticket.
LIFE PASSES confer free travel on the Railway for life. A specially designed 32mm circular blue, cream and gold enamel badge comes individually numbered in a presentation box, in the style of a 19th century Railway Director's Pass. This is the ideal gift for any Railway enthusiast on any occasion (e.g. leaving presentation, retirement, birthday, Christmas) and at £125 represents excellent value for money
This year (2013) the 22nd AGM of the WWLR Support Group was held at The Edinburgh Hotel,Wells-next-the-sea. The evening is an opportunity to meet with old friends and catch up with all the latest WWLR news.
The 2012 AGM was held on 19th May at the Forncett Industrial Steam Museum by invitation of Dr.Rowan Francis.
The Museum is located on Low Road, Forncett St. Mary, Norwich NR16 1JJ.
It is about 10 miles south of Norwich and can be found by following the brown tourist signs on the B1113 from Tacolneston.
More information about the Museum can be found at www.forncettsteammuseum.co.uk
The above picture was taken on Sunday 23rd March 2008. Even when it is cold outside, there is a warm welcome awaiting you in the newly refurbished signal box waiting room (shown below). There is a selection of hot and cold drinks, crisps and chocolate available. Railway related items, a good selection of postcards and other souvenirs are also available.
Returning to the WWLR this year is the very popular "Christine's Buffet Bar" which is located next to the Signal Box at Wells Station.Throughout the day refreshments are available from ''Christine's'' buffet bar. As well as breakfast, there is a wide range of home made cakes and pastries, hot and cold drinks, fresh cut sandwiches and icecreams. Fresh local crab and prawns are always popular and can be served as a plated salad or in a sandwich. You can even treat yourself to a clotted cream tea in the afternoon. Opening times are from 8:00 am until the last train.
Below is a Media Release from the RURAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME FOR ENGLAND
Full Steam Ahead for Rural Funding Programme
Congratulations to the Wells and Walsingham Light Railway on being the first project to receive funding under the Norfolk Coast and Broads Rural Development Programme.
The Garratt Boiler project has secured a grant of £38,300 to support the building of a new steam locomotive for the light railway. The new capacity created by this funding means more visitors will be able to enjoy the attraction of a steam train trip between Wells and Walsingham in future years and this will encourage higher levels of tourism-related expenditure in the area.
Owner and creator of the railway, Lt. Cmdr. Roy Francis commented “We are extremely pleased to be awarded this funding for our railway. Without an extra locomotive we have been turning people away because we haven’t had enough seats during peak times. With this funding, we can run two steam locomotives, increasing our capacity to accommodate coach parties, and generate enough work and income to afford an apprentice engineer“.
The new steam boiler and locomotive will be created over the next few months with the support of engineering students and one apprentice as part of their Performing Engineering Operations Part 2 course at the College of West Anglia in King’s Lynn. Volunteers from the railway will also be learning new skills and supporting the project.
The Norfolk Coast and Broads area is one of three programmes operating in Norfolk and Suffolk. Local Action Groups also operate in The Brecks and the Waveney Valley and jointly the three Local Action Groups have secured over £10 million from the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE), European funding which is managed by the East of England Development Agency, to invest locally between now and 2013.
Funding support is available for agribusiness development and diversification, water use and distribution, sustainable rural tourism, local food and rural businesses development.
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THE EU RURAL DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME GO TO http://ec.europa.eu/agriculture/rurdev/index_en.htm
Wells and Walsingham Light Railway:
The Wells and Walsingham Light Railway line is the longest 10.25” narrow gauge steam railway in the world. It first opened in April 1982 and runs the unique Garratt locomotive “Norfolk Hero”, which was specially built for this line. The line runs from the harbour town of Wells to the picturesque town and pilgrim shrine of Walsingham, and takes passengers on a scenic tour including five bridges and views across lovely countryside. For more details about the railway and running times see: www.wellswalsinghamrailway.co.uk
Rural Development Programme for England:
Norfolk Coast and Broads, The Brecks and Waveney Valley Local Action Groups are supported under the Rural Development Programme for England by EEDA, Defra and the EU, and managed by the Rural Enterprise Hub at Easton College in partnership with Norfolk County Council.
The ‘Leader approach’ is based on the principle of a bottom up governance, and central to this is a Local Action Group (LAG). Each of the three areas has a LAG in place that will use this funding tosupport farm businesses, tourism initiatives, micro-enterprises and entrepreneurs within their respective areas. The LAG is made up from representatives from the private and public sectors with an interest in their local area.
Funding for eligible projects is available between now and December 2013. For more information about involvement in the LAGs or funding opportunities, see www.ruralhub.info/lag. Alternatively contact the local facilitator in each area;
Brecks: Steve Howard at firstname.lastname@example.org
Norfolk Coast and Broads: Carol Allenat email@example.com
Waveney Valley: Paul Mace firstname.lastname@example.org
Rural Enterprise Hub:
The successful bid for the Rural Development Programme for England Local Action Group funding was put together by the Rural Enterprise Hub at EastonCollege in conjunction with Norfolk County Council, which acts as the accountable body for the partnership programme. The Rural Enterprise Hub works to help farms and rural businesses prepare for the future. Easton College offers training courses for individuals and businesses and is committed to excellence in its delivery of training to the rural sector.
The East of England Development Agency (EEDA) is the driving force behind sustainable economic regeneration in the East of England: Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk. EEDA’s vision is for the East of England to be an ideas driven region that is internationally competitive, harnesses the talent of all and is at the forefront of the low carbon economy. For further information www.eeda.org.uk
The new Garratt Locomotive was named "Norfolk Heroine" by the Countess of Leicester at an inauguration ceremony at Wells Station on Saturday 16th October 2010.
Lady Leicester and Lt. Cmdr. Roy Francis with Peter Johnson from Narrow Gauge News.
Lady Leicester said she was looking forward to seeing the locomotive in her final crimson livery and going on her first journey with her through the beautiful Norfolk countryside. It was entirely appropriate, she added, that the new locomotive would be named after Edith Cavell whom she described as "the Norfolk heroine". Lady Leicester went on to talk about the life and death of Edith Cavell before unveiling the nameplate "Norfolk Heroine" and pouring champagne over the locomotive boiler. The invited guests then enjoyed a champagne toast to the new locomotive, before going to Holkham Hall Stables Cafe for the buffet reception.
A detailed report of the event with pictures appeared in the EDP on Monday 18th October, and the Fakenham & Wells Times on Thursday 21st October. The EDP24 website archive allows you to view this report.
"Norfolk Heroine" during commissioning trials in April 2011, with Cmdr. Roy Francis in the cab.
"Norfolk Heroine" leads "Norfolk Hero" towards Walsingham in a "double heading" trial in May 2011.
This page was last updated on 15/05/2013.