Rails & Ales

Fri 7 – Sun 9 Jun

  • Up to 10 locomotives in action – including 5 guest engines!

  • Real Ale & Cider Bar at Weybourne Station

  • Tickets valid for unlimited travel all day!

  • Range of Ales and Ciders from Norfolk producers available at Sheringham and Holt Stations

  • Some non-stop express workings and selected double-heading

  • Intensive service of passenger trains with unlimited travel all day

  • Save money with discounted fares when you book in advance

Mixed Traction Gala plus Local Beer & Cider Showcase

Rails

Rails and Ales is an on track celebration of both steam and diesel power coupled with a showcase of Norfolk’s brewing traditions that will give visitors the opportunity to see and ride behind steam engines, diesel locomotives, diesel railcars and choose from local ales and ciders to enjoy!

Hop on and off and travel on a wide variety of trains and discover a different range of Norfolk tipples at each of the stations.

Class 50, 50008 “Thunderer” and Class 33, 33012 “Lt. Jenny Lewis RN” are anticipated to arrive at the Poppy Line as part of a Hanson & Hall rail tour, and are planned to be part of the line’s 8 plus locomotive line up alongside a visiting London Underground 4TC set. For more information on the scheduled line up, click the locomotives list below or read our latest press release. 

Wissington – Our smallest working steam engine, this diminutive loco was built in 1937 and spent her working life at the British Sugar factory in Wissington. Amongst the trains she will be hauling is the Victorian train – featuring 4 carriages built in the 19th Century and lovingly-restored to near original condition.

No 22 – Built in 1956 by the Hunslet Engine Co. its original purpose was to haul trains for the National Coal Board. A powerful tank engine class, No. 22 was built to the design used to supply engines for the Ministry of Defence hence its description of “Austerity”. The locomotive officially retired from service in 1978 and was then purchased by the Appleby-Frodingham Railway Preservation Society in 1997. The Society then undertook a large-scale restoration project with No. 22 returning to steam in 2010 in the smart maroon livery of the United Steel Companies. She has since worked on several heritage railways and is visiting for the season.

Heritage Railcar – Class 104 M56182 and Class 101 M51188 – M56182 is Class 104 driving coach built by the Birmingham Railway Carriage & Wagon Company as part of the British Railways’ modernisation plan that saw the construction of many diesel trains to take over from steam. The vehicle entered service just last month following a meticulous restoration undertaken over the last 9½ years by father and son team Paul and Chris Moxon.  The vehicle restored to close to its original condition, complete with varnished woodwork in the passenger saloons and salvaged seats of the original style including the comfortable first class saloons. Externally it is painted in the smart green livery employed by British Railways in the 1960s, complete with “cat’s whiskers”. Class 104s were once a common sight at Sheringham, working services to Cromer and Norwich.

M51188 is an example of a motor coach from a British Rail Class 101 diesel multiple unit. The type were built by Metro-Cammell at in Birmingham in the late 1950s and proved to be one of the most successful and longest-lived of BR’s first generation DMUs with some Scottish examples surviving in service until 2003.

The railcar provides an excellent “driver’s eye” perspective of the track ahead – something you don’t get in conventional carriages so hop aboard and enjoy the view!

Class 33, 33012, “Lt Jenny Lewis RN”, courtesy of the 71A Locomotive Group – is based at the Swanage Railway. 33012 was built in 1960 as part of an order for the Southern region of British Railways and spent it’s entire working life on the Southern region until withdrawal in 1997. During preservation the engine has mainly lived at the Swanage Railway in Dorset, however has been restored to mainline standards, and can be seen on duties across the national network. In June 2014, the locomotive was named “Lt. Jenny Lewis RN” to commemorate Lt. Lewis who passed away in active Royal Navy service, and was a fan of the Class 33s.

D5631 – D5631 was built by Brush Traction in Loughborough in 1960 for British Railways and delivered new to Norwich shed. Class 31s were used on a variety of passenger and freight trains and were a common sight in East Anglia. Whilst at Norwich, the engine “rubbed shoulders” with No 564 which was also allocated to the depot in 1960. The locomotive was withdrawn in 2001 and purchased by the M&GNJR Society two years later and currently sports the smart BR green livery she carried in the 1960s.

D3935  – The Class 08 was British Railways standard general-purpose diesel shunter with a total of 996 being produced in the decade between 1952 and 1962 to work at freight yards and major stations. D3935 was built at Horwich in 1961 and first allocated to Kittybrewster. After spells at Aberdeen and Thornaby the shunter headed to Colchester in 1972 where it was based for the remainder of its BR service. It was withdrawn in 1994 and acquired for use on the NNR and is owned by the M&GNJR Society.

D6732 – Built in 1962, the locomotive is one of over 300 English Electric Type 3s delivered between 1960 and 1965 as part of British Railways’ modernisation plan. D6732 was initially allocated to Hull Dairycoates depot and worked passenger and freight trains in the North West for much of her career.  In 1996, the locomotive became the first Class 37 to work in preservation when she hauled her first train on the North Norfolk Railway. The type were no strangers to the area with some of D6732’s classmates seeing regular use on InterCity services from London to Norwich while others were the mainstay of Liverpool Street to Cambridge and King’s Lynn services.

D7659 – Owned by the Waterman Railway Heritage Trust, D7659 returned to service in late 2021 after an absence of over 23 years for a restoration that amounted to a complete rebuild of the 1966-built locomotive. The Class 25 was the final locomotive built by Beyer Peacock at the historic Gorton Works in Manchester and during a 20-year working life with British Railways worked mainly in the Midlands and North West, but also saw service in Wales and Scotland and worked some summer holiday specials to Norwich in the 1970s.

Class 50, 50008, “Thunderer  provided courtesy of Hanson & Hall. Built at the English Electric Vulcan Foundry in Newton-le-Willows in 1968, its primary purpose was to haul crack expresses on the then non-electrified part of the West Coast Main Line from Preston to Glasgow. In 1974 the overhead wires reached Glasgow and the Class 50s were transferred to the Western region, with the locomotive moving first to Bristol, then to Plymouth Laira in 1976 for express services from London to Devon and Cornwall. In 1978 it was named “Thunderer” after the Royal Navy warship, continuing to be based out of Laira until final withdrawal in 1992 when it entered preservation. Since then, the engine has been restored to mainline standards and can be seen across the UK working for Hanson & Hall Rail.

Final Visitor tbc – Plans are afoot for a further visitor. It is hoped to announce this guest in late May/early June.

Timetables

An intensive timetable will be in operation on all three days.

Steam hauled departures from Sheringham are at 10:14, 12:42, 14:35 and 17:15 on Friday 7 and Saturday 8 and at 10:14, 12:42, 14:35, 16:21 and 16:52 on Sunday 9

Steam hauled services from Holt are at 11:23, 13:37, 14:13 and 15:52 on all three days

Diesel trains leave Sheringham frequently from 9:27 until 20:11 on Friday 7 and Saturday 8 and 9:27 to 17:35 on Sunday 9.

Diesel departures from Holt are from 10:04 to 19:30 on on Friday 7 and Saturday 8 and 10:04 to 17:05 on Sunday 9.

Full timetables can be downloaded here.

Ales

In addition to the Mixed Traction action on the track, each station will showcase a range of local beers and ciders; so grab your tickets for unlimited travel and hop on and off the trains to discover a different selection of Norfolk-produced tipples as we celebrate the County’s brewing expertise.

Sheringham and Holt Stations will both have a selection of bottled beers and ciders on offer, while the “Restaurant Buffet Car” will be on certain trains serving a selection of onboard refreshments including offerings from local breweries.

A real ale bar will be at Weybourne Station, giving the opportunity to choose from around 50 beers & ciders across the three stations each day.

Station buffets will be open at Sheringham, Weybourne and Holt too, serving a selection of sandwiches, cakes and light refreshments.

MUSIC

Weybourne Station will also feature music, including Bloke & Burd and The Pumas playing live on Saturday

Fares

Discounted fares are available when you book online in advance

Subject to availability, tickets must be purchased on the day before travel at the latest.

Great Value Three Day Rover – Adult £50.00
Great Value Three Day Rover – Child £34.00

Advance Saver Two Day Rover – Adult £38.00
Advance Saver Two Day Rover – Child (3 – 15) £26.00

Adult Day Rover £20.00
Child Day Rover (3 – 15) £14.00
Family of Four (2Ad + 2Ch or 1 Ad + 3Ch) £57.50
Family of Five (2Ad + 3Ch or 1 Ad + 4Ch) £67.50
Dog £3.00
Bicycle £3.00

Subject to availability tickets can also be purchased from the ticket offices at Holt, Sheringham or Weybourne on the day of travel

Adult Day Rover £22.00
Child Day Rover (3 – 15) £15.00
Family of Four (2Ad + 2Ch or 1 Ad + 3Ch) £64.50
Family of Five (2Ad + 3Ch or 1 Ad + 4Ch) £74.50
Dog £3.00
Bicycle £3.00

Explore

There’s so much to see at the stations and in the surrounding area . . .

HOLT

Holt is the western terminus of the railway and is around a mile from the town centre. The station is easy to reach by road,  just off the A148 at High Kelling, and has ample parking (for which we request a small donation) so is an ideal staring point for passengers wishing to travel to Sheringham and visit the town and seaside.

The What Three Words code for Holt Station’s main entrance is saturate.atlas.dumplings

The town’s original station closed in 1964 and was demolished and part of the trackbed used for the A148 Holt Bypass – discover more about the original station here. The current station is a faithful recreation of an Midland & Great Northern Joint Railway country station, using buildings recovered from various locations in East Anglia. The station decor and artefacts are presented to give a flavour of the period shortly after  1936 when the London & North Eastern Railway took over full ownership of the M&GN.

The station boasts a small buffet and gift shop and a painstakingly created model railway. The William Marriott Museum, which tells the story of the M&GN, and the Railway Cottage – a small home made shortly after World War I by reusing a redundant railway carriage – are open on most days that trains run Easter to October (subject to volunteer availabilty).

The town of Holt is well worth a visit. Energetic passengers can stroll into the town centre – the walk will take around 25 minutes – while many will prefer to hop on a one of the buses that stop on the road opposite the station entrance for a short five minute trip into town.  The town features many Georgian buildings and a wide Market Place.

Weybourne’s atmospheric station is a a real gem. There is very limited parking, so the best way to arrive is by train! If you are arriving by car the What Three Words code for the main entrance is huddling.rots.bound

Hop off and soak up the period atmosphere or take a walk to Weybourne village a mile or so away or to the nearby Sheringham Park. For those not wanting to venture too far, the footbridge affords panoramic views back towards Sheringham and down to the sea and is a good spot to watch trains approaching.

Originally built to capitalise on the “Poppyland” holiday boom, the station served a nearby hotel that was demolished in World War II . It oozes Edwardian charm and has been restored to close to it’s original condition sporting the tan and cream colour scheme used by the Midland & Great Northern Joint Railway at the time. Discover more of about the history of Weybourne station and village.

The former parcels office has been converted into a small period style souvenir shop and buffet. Historic goods vehicles in the bay platform add to the atmosphere and one, a Southern Railway parcels van, houses a model railway.

Most trains will pass another here, so you make the most of your rover ticket by changing from one to another.

Kelling Heath

Kelling Heath Park is a small halt stop on the North Norfolk Railway, used mostly by hikers. It was not on the original British Rail line, but was opened after the line was preserved.

The station was opened in 1983 as part of the Railway’s extension to Kelling; a very short half coach-length halt was constructed principally to serve the nearby caravan park. Upon the completion of the extension to Holt in 1989, ‘Kelling Camp Halt’ was demolished and a new longer platform was constructed, ¼ of a mile further up the hill to the west; the station was also renamed “Kelling Heath Park”.

The Halt stop backs onto Kelling Park itself and also provides access to Kelling Heath Holiday Park, a popular campsite set amongst 300 acres of woodland and rare open heathland. The campsite has a wide variety of accommodation including luxury wooden lodges, holiday homes and camping & touring pitches, all available to book online or over the phone via 01263 588181.

Sheringham’s imposing station houses the booking office, waiting room and buffet. The Old Luggage Office buffet is in an area which was used to store the many suitcases and trunks that the Victorian tourists travelling to Sheringham required. Today, it offers the chance to relax over a drink or light lunch and watch the trains come and go.

The station has been restored to close to its 1955 appearance, when British Railways were responsible for the line. The distinctive blue station totems and matching enamel signs are evocative of that period. The footbridge provides an excellent vantage point from which to watch trains arrive, or the engine “run round” to the other end of its train ready for the next trip to Holt.

Passengers starting their journey here can arrive by Great Anglia trains from Cromer and Norwich (the mainline station is just across Station Road), by bus (they stop right outside) or by car (there is a large pay and display car park adjacent to the station). The What Three Words code for the car park entrance is stables.case.blip

For those arriving on one of our historic trains, there’s a chance to visit the town’s many independent shops, stroll to beach and promenade or take a slightly longer walk to join the Norfolk Coastal Path and enjoy a cliff top walk or climb Beeston Bump (a distinctively-shaped local hillock). The town museum includes a Windfarm Visitor Centre where you can discover more about the arrays that have been built offshore.

Find out more about Sheringham station and town.