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One of the largest counties in England, Norfolk lacked the heavy industry that was central to the creation of the railways in many of the country’s industrial heartlands. On the other hand, however, its rural economy allied to the burgeoning holiday traffic from the late 19th century onwards was to see the development of a significant network of lines, serving towns and cities like King’s Lynn, Great Yarmouth and Norwich. Although much of this network was owned by the dominant Great Eastern Railway, the county was also host to one of the largest joint railways in the country – the Midland & Great Northern – until its absorption by the LNER in October 1936.


In 1945 the railway network was still largely intact; however, over the next two decades the declining economic fortunes of the railway industry saw much of the network disappear. A major blow in 1959 saw the closure, at a stroke, of the bulk of the former Midland & Great Northern whilst the Beeching Report of March 1963 foreshadowed the elimination of many of the surviving ex-Great Eastern lines. For a period, a number of these lines survived to cater for freight traffic but as this was lost to the roads, so many of these freight-only lines disappeared as well.


Incorporating some 60 photographs from the period, The Railways of Norfolk: The Postwar Years portrays the variety of services and operations that were a feature of the county’s railways during the quarter century after the end of World War 2.


PUBLICATION:   May/June 2024

The Railways of Norfolk - the Postwar Years


    Binding : Paperback   64 pages
    Dimensions : 200mm x 208mm landscape
    ISBN : 978 1 913555 16 0
    Words : Approx. 5,000
    Illustrations : 60  black and white
    Publication : June 2024



    A historian and industrial archaeologist by background, Michael Swift has a wide interest in transport and he has written a number of books on the subject. He first visited the Whitby area in the late 1960s on family holidays and had family connections in Goathland for many years.


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