BEFORE AND AFTER CLOSURE THE KINGS LYNN TO HUNSTANTON GREAT EASTERN RAILWAY
Welcome to Norfolks disused railways.com coverage on the Kings Lynn to Hunstanton Great Eastern Railway.This page is best viewed on a pc/laptop. if viewed on mobile you can click this link click me for a simplified page. Or feel free to carry on with this longer more in depth page.This page covers the before and the after coverage of the line and all stations from Kings Lynn,North Wootton,Wolferton,Dersingham,Snettisham,Heacham and finally Hunstanton Railway terminus.
This is the most local of Norfolks closed lines to me and enjoyed finding all of what remains to this day cuts and bruises and arguments with overgrown bushes as well.The Kings Lynn Hunstanton Railway history page covers the history of the Kings Lynn Hunstanton line with pictures before and after the sad closure of the line in 1969 .During the covid pandemic in 2020 when Norfolk was very quiet I managed to take most of the photos to make this website using my trusty Nikon d800 or my trusty iPhone8 and a mountain bike with the google maps app.
Also I done lots of research using google maps,wwwrailmapsonline.com,gergraph.org.uk and many other various sources and web sites. Most past pictures have been sourced from various different places across the web.Some from screen shots from films what can be found in the links section in the top menu some pictures have been used from with full credit to owner left by picture
The line was Closed in may 1969 due to losing money and even though the line closure was not part of the Beeching report British Railway decided to close the Kings Lynn to Hunstanton Railway on Saturday may the 3rd 1969 saying it was losing 40 thousand a year back then and the railway track was lifted sadly straight away and even though as you will see on this page a lot of the bed is still un touched there sadly has been parts built on Mostly in Kings Lynn and heacham.
Kings Lynn in 1846 was 16 miles away and Hunstanton needed a railway to put Hunstanton on the map for a sea side resort for holiday makers.Henry le strange began to plan for a railway in the 1840's and in In 1861, the Lynn and Hunstanton Railway business was incorporated.
The line cost £80 thousand pounds to build and was completed in only ten months.Sadly Henry le strange died before the line opened and never see the line opened
Hunstanton see amazing growth due to the railway bringing holiday makers in from all over the country and in 1937 had 4 platform's that were all lengthened to carry longer trains in the summer months.
During its peak trains could of been running at ten minute intervals during the busy summer months with direct trains from London and trains from the midland great northern joint railway
IN 1948 the railways were nationalised and the government were looking into unprofitable lines across the uk and dr Richard Beeching was brought in to look into non profit lines across the uk.The heacham wells branch being one of them having stopped services to passengers on 2nd June 1952 .And was closed before dr Beeching took office
The hunstanton line was not on any list from the Beeching cuts as remained profitable and not on the closure list from the Beeching report
Hunstanton station always had a single line running into the terminus with a passing loop at heacham but in march 1967 the line was made single all the way to Kings Lynn and stations and signal boxes unstaffed.All trains leaving hunstanton had a single line token key
Hunstanton lost most of its platforms and sidings and in frequent service and with car use on the increase BR said the line was losing £40,000 a year.The line closed on may bank holiday 1969 with hunstanton terminus packed with people to mark the occasion.Many have said the line was still profitable but closed due to br mismanagement.Stopping London through services slashing 80% of its revenue over night
Now in 2020 all that remains are the old coal sheds a signal and a memorial and a old wooden buffer built into a brick wall close to southend road.
The line from Kings Lynn Platform 2 branched off to the left just after the level crossing From kings lynn railway station With the Dereham line going straight ahead. And the line to then Liverpool Street now kings cross Cambridge Fen line heading off to the right.
After leaving Kings Lynn the line curved round to the left passing through Gaywood past king Edward school and gaywood park school under a foot bridge and then the line went straight passing over Gaywood road level crossing .
Then the line went down heading towards North Wootton past the side of north lynn.Most of this part remains as a cycle path apart from where lynn sport was sadly built over where the line used to run so sadly now I'm guessing the line would have to take a different departure route from Kings Lynn railway station.Maybe off the old Dereham line what still is in use as a freight line for sand movement from the local quarry then head towards Hunstanton on the eastern edge of Kings Lynn near the queen Elizabeth hospital end of the town.
Once the line left north lynn and passed over the new built 1980s A1078 Edward Benefer way heading towards North Wootton .Sadly I could not follow the line as its private land and all fenced off But seeing some pictures from Geograph.org.There are not many remains Left.
Once reaching North Wootton halt still remaining as a private house.With a local scout, guide hut built on the approach.
The next station was the royal station at Wolferton what has been amazingly restored and used as a private residence.Once again the line between North Wootton and Wolferton station is Private land and not much Remains some of the track bed and is in use as private farm tracks. And as far as I can see the old small bridge that crossed the River Babingley has now been taken away sadly.Again please feel free to email me if you know any different.
After leaving Wolferton station the line started to turn gently Right going past Wolferton cliffs and through the Dersingham/wolferton bog.Heading towards Dersingham I was surprised how much of the track bed remained intact some parts over grown but very small overgrown parts.
Also what I found were fence lines and a old railway building down the line closer to the Dersingham side.What was over grown but accessible following the still there fence line trust me I have the cuts and bruises to prove it battling through from Wolferton Station to Dersingham Station.
The line Dersingham side would of crossed the new built and opened in November 1990 the A149 Dersingham Snettisham bypass opened 21 years after the closure of the Kings Lynn Hunstanton Railway.
The line would of crossed where the A149 now stands by the pinecones caravan park and then roughly where the now A149 banked up barrier is and into Dersingham station now used as a builders merchant Semba trading.
Dersingham like many other Stations on the Kings Lynn Hunstanton Railway has been looked after very well and in past years.Dersingham station house has been amazingly restored in the past few years.
Once leaving Dersingham station over the station road Level crossing.with the station houses to the right.the line went over a level crossing what was in later years one of the first places that British railway had installed the electronic gates to try and simplify the line and try keep costs down to try and keep the line open and sadly never worked and even with investment the line still sadly closed.
Once heading towards Snettisham once again the track bed is all there and a lovely well used walk Inbetween Dersingham and Snettisham. Inbetween Dersingham and Snettisham there was a level crossing at ingoldisthorpe and the cottage called crossing cottage is still called the crossing cottage with lovely owners who were more than happy to let me photograph there amazingly looked after house.Also Dersingham side of the cottage a old concrete Building looks to be a electronic box remain from the crossing still survives covered in ivy but still there.
After the ingoldisthorpe the railway heading towards Snettisham started to curve to the left approaching Snettisham station.This part is still very accessible by public footpath up to near Snettisham station then its private land before understandably reaching the station.
Snettisham station also lucky still remains and is used as private residence.Also some of the freight and station yard buildings still remain and some been restored as modern housing as seen in the pictures below.
There is also a old signal behind the granary remains .Snettisham signal box sadly a few years ago was sold off to a heritage railway but good news its still in use..After leaving Snettisham the train line once again crossed where the new built A149 bypass stands now and down the side of the original beach road lay out what was changed in the 1990s for the construction of the bypass.
Crossing Snettisham beach road level crossing what was sited by the ken hill woods public car park all that remains now is the crossing cottage.The line went off to the right following the level land bearing around ken hill heading towards heacham.
From ken hill carpark you can still see some fence line remains to the left of the woods path its over grown but the are parts still there.The next part after the over grown woods part following the Snettisham Beach road the line curves right away from the road heading towards heacham there are still banks there and a concrete pad maybe where a signal stood I not totally sure but here the bed site is clear but would need levelling out.
After the line went onto private farm track where I biked this part after talking to the farmer who was very pleasant and knew what I was doing .Where the line went off to the right there is a old railway building remaining here and the track line now used as a farm track is still very much still there and not over grown or soft ground in any way and been kept in amazing condition and daily use.
The building remain between Snettisham and Heacham is the building used on the home page image of norfolksdisusedrailways.com.
Further up the line curve straightens heading towards heacham and there are a few farm tracks leading off where the line would of been.Then just up before where the caravan site starts there is another railway building This one sadly is fenced off and covered in graffiti.
Once passing the old railway building on the Kings Lynn Hunstanton Railway line you approach what is now long acres caravan park maintenance sheds and caravan parks what have all sadly been built over the old Railway line to the side of the caravan park there is space for a line to run.Past long acres the line crossed south beach road heacham.The old crossing cottage still remains to this day to.The railway then went over the now built over Pioneer & tall trees caravan park and then into Heacham Railway station after crossing North beach/Jubilee road Heacham by the west Norfolk public house.
Heacham station building still remains and has a old mk1 British railway carriage out side what is used now for holiday let.The mk1 carriage was brought from the battlefeild railway in Leicestershire.
The main station building is used as private residence .After leaving heacham off to Hunstanton the line had been heavily built on with a housing estate pretty much between heacham station and where the line branched off to wells via Sedgeford,docking,stanhoe,burnham market,holkham,wells also called the West Norfolk junction railway.
After the West Norfolk junction the line track bed is pretty clear heading forward to hunstanton and the Wells next to sea branch heading to the right surprisingly the junction bed all still up to hunstanton road Heacham is still there and highly visible with a old set of wooden buffers there to the left of the line see Heacham to wells branch page .
The line track bed towards Hunstanton is still remaining clear up to searles holiday park golf club you cant walk no further as there a small river there called river Heacham with the bridge or crossing removed its a small river and to be honest if you wanted you could cross it somehow.
On to Searles after the unbuilt on golf course is the main holiday park of Searles Hunstanton but where the line ran the road is used as a maintenance maybe emergency vehicle route through the park so in a way maybe the line could still run through searles holiday park single line only .But what used to be anyway from Snettisham to Hunstanton with a passing loop at heacham .
Coming off searles you approach what was the next and final level crossing at south beach road Hunstanton the crossing cottage is still there then after a bit further up you sadly run into the hunnystone newly built pub blocking off the line completely into what was Hunstanton terminus
Hunstanton has mostly been unbuilt on only used as car parks as of 2020.But there has been planning put in to completely rebuild the carparks at Hunstanton into flats what will completely stop the line in its old route ever opening.
The old station site has also had a indoor market built at the end of the carpark but sadly where the honey stone pub has been built close to where the level crossing there would be no room to even put a small basic station in front of the pub site..
In 2020 all that remains at Hunstanton are the coal shed with some signage put up and a old buffer built into a brick wall the rest of all the Hunstanton Railway has sadly been long gone into the history books gone but not forgotten
The last train ran at 9.05pm on Saturday 3 May from King's Lynn to hunstanton and returned from Hunstanton at 10.16pm with a wreath attached to the leading end of the dmu.
Both trains were packed and hundreds more lined the platforms to sadly wave the last Train through from Kings Lynn to Hunstanton
Many groups have campaigned to have the line reopened to ease the summer traffic on the a149 where now would also need a level crossing or a more likely a different route.But so far with no success personally I cant ever see it ever reopening using old route or even using another route .The cost would be high and busy in summer and guessing lose money in the winter.
Also the public outcry of compulsive buying and destroying housing to reinstate this line at heacham.I can see more likely the road network updated more to cope with summer traffic and increasing Norfolk population
Kings Lynn to Hunstanton Railway 3rd October 1862-5th may 1969
Well what better place to start than the start of the line from Kings Lynn to Hunstanton than here at Kings Lynn terminus seen in the first two pictures as how the station looked when the line was open the year is unknown of these photos will be between 1967 and 1969 as the source of these pictures the line had been made a single line, As you can see the buildings have not changed majorly over the past 50 years.The most major change will be inside with the electrification of the now Kings Lynn to kings cross fen line
Kings Lynn to North Wootton
Kings Lynn station in 2020
Kings Lynn station platform 2 past and present
The first two pictures are of unknown years of trains ready to depart to Hunstanton from Kings Lynn.Both pictures are screen shot taken from films links can be found in the link section
platform 2 in 2020
class 387 stabled there now waiting for departure to kings cross on the fen line.Now also the platforms have over head electrification for the Kings Lynn kings cross route installed in the 90s
Off to Hunstanton ahead
Dereham straight ahead still in use now as freight line to Middleton Towers
To the left off to then Liverpool Street now used to London kings cross
Tennyson avenue crossing taken in 2020 as you can see the Kings Lynn Hunstanton line has completely gone
Here we can see Kings Lynn Junction with the track bed track removed.All that remains are the Kings Lynn London line to the right and the Kings Lynn Dereham line as far as middleton towers going straight on
Next we head off to Wootton through gaywood past the two schools and under the foot bridge. As you can see the line bed is still clear and used as a cycle path for many years.
Next find were these two old concrete blocks what could of been a support for either the signal shown or the gaywood foot bridge.Please feel free to email with any ideas many thanks
The next part is the gaywood road level crossing.The crossing House is the only remain left there on the Kings Lynn Hunstanton Railway
Here we see a dmu approaching the crossing in the first picture and the second picture a dmu crossing the line.The year is unknown but must be close to closure as the level crossing has electronic barrier's installed.The next pictures show gaywood crossing area in 2020
After the old level crossing site we head towards the side of the north Lynn housing estate down past the side of the patrol station and strikes bowling alley.
Just after where the level crossing was at Gaywood road whilst heading towards Wootton there was this small river crossing Looks like the original bridge has totally gone and only this new footbridge in place in 2020.Maybe the brick work seen below was part of the Kings Lynn Hunstanton Railway
Off now to the side of north lynn going down the side of Reid way on the housing estate.The Kings Lynn Hunstanton Railway line bed here is still a cycle way and sadly here is where the lynn sport complex was built right over where the line passed and opened in august 1991.stopping future reopening from this old route at this part anyway I always said if there was to be a future line it could run off the now disused lynn Dereham line and branch off towards the qe hospital
Lynn sport complex sadly now blocking the line
The Line heading down past the north lynn housing estate in Kings Lynn towards the new built north lynn industrial estate and the A1078 north lynn bypass linking up to the Kings Lynn docks
North lynn Reid way is now a cycle path on the old railway
Here we are looking from the other side of the a1078 bypass looking towards the Kings Lynn Hunstanton line facing towards Kings Lynn .The cycle path start can be seen just by the dog waste bin.This bypass was not here when the line was opened as it was built and opened in the early 80s for docks traffic and to keep hgvs out of the town centre
Atter the North lynn and the A1078 the Kings Lynn to Hunstanton line went through private farm and and all I can see is its now used as private farm tracks and farm land up till North Wootton station
Kings Lynn Hunstanton Railway facing towards North Wootton from the other side of the north lynn bypass facing towards North Wootton/hunstanton bound.This is private farm land and no access is allowed but from looking at various sites there are no remains apart from farm track along here until North Wootton station
Just before Wootton halt station is the North Wootton scout and guide hut to the side of the old Kings Lynn Hunstanton Railway line
North Wootton to Wolferton station
Here we start at the next part of the Kings Lynn Hunstanton Railway inbetween North Wootton and Wolferton station.Here also a lot of the line is on private farm land and no access allowed to the line.Most of the part also is just a farm track and a demolished bridge over the river babingly.Many thanks to for the information and permission to use the photos for
North Wootton station in 2020
Gate keepers lane North Wootton where the line used to cross there was once a level crossing here
Many thanks to Richard Humphrey for use of these pictures taken and posted to of the Kings Lynn Hunstanton Railway between gate keepers lane North Wootton and Wolferton station
The first picture is a old railway building over grown and I Am not sure if this still remains to this day
these next two pictures kindly used with permission from Richard Humphrey shows the line heading up towards the now demolished babingly river crossing bridge that has been removed some years ago.It stood just past the metal gates.
The tree line here is where the line left Wolferton village and headed off across Wolferton marshes towards North Wootton station.Just by the wooden 5 bar gate is the gate house cottage seen in the pictures further down
The gate house seen in the distance with Wolferton village church just behind
These old screen shots taken show the line when open heading towards Wolferton station when the line was open you can see the village church and gate house up ahead
The Gate house at Wolferton in 2020
After the gate house the line crossed a field approaching Wolferton royal station on the Kings Lynn Hunstanton Railway as seen here in 2020 from a distance from where the line was
Approaching Wolferton station year unknown
Wolferton to Dersingham Station
Next on Norfolksdisusedrailways.com we have wolferton to Dersingham station segment of this website.like all other stations both opened in 1862 until closure in may 1969
Wolferton royal station to this day is been restored into amazing condition.Dersingham also has been kept in amazing condition and recently the station house has been renovated and used for housing once again.Dersingham station for many years has been used by a local builders merchant Semba trading
Here we see the amazingly restored Wolferton royal station in 2020.The work and passion gone into this station is amazing please visit the Wolferton web page for more history and information on this amazing historical site
This was the royal station since Sandringham Estate was brought in 1862 by purchased by the Prince of Wales who later became King Edward VII.The station was used by the royal family as was just under 3 miles away from the Sandringham Estate in norfolk.
The station also saw at least three royal funeral processions: Queen Alexandra in 1925, King George V in 1936 and King George VI in 1952.On 11 February 1952 the body of King George VI, who had died at Sandringham on 6 February, was taken to King's Cross and thousands lined the Cambridge main line to pay their respects.The last royal train to call at the station was in sadly in1966
Please look at Wolferton Stations amazing website the link is below its amazing site with amazing Royal Railway photographs
They certainly don't make them like they used to the work gone into this is amazing and full credit to owners .Here is the station seen from the front entrance now called the clock house
Now we see the amazingly built station house at Wolferton station.The work again gone into keeping this building in this condition is full credit to the owners well done to all those involved
Station house front gate seen with the Wolferton signal box to the side
Wolferton station house seen behind the village sign in 2020
Next we have some pictures from Wolferton station whilst the line was still in use.See the second picture in the distance stands the station house
Dmu waiting departure to either Kings Lynn or hunstanton At wolferton Railway Station Between 1967 & 1969 as the line has been made into a single line Railway
Many thanks to the owner of Wolferton station who whilst I was delivering to his premises and got talking to this amazing person gave me these post cards that I have kept for many years thanks again.These are the original postcards just scanned for web use.
This picture taken from the top of Wolferton cliffs basically shows the route between Wolferton and on way to Dersingham the tree line basically just inside there is where the old railway sat and some of the bed to this day rests
After leaving Wolferton station the line turned slightly right heading into Dersingham bog past Wolferton cliff line The first picture is looking ahead to Dersingham and the second picture is from Wolferton woods in 2020 and the third is from the past looking to the rear of the train towards Wolferton
Next we head off towards Dersingham through the woods line through the Wolferton/dersingham bog area here some parts are a bit over grown but more Dersingham side.The Wolferton side looks maintained by Sandringham Estate forestry
What looks to be a old sleeper left behind during the removal of the Kings Lynn Hunstanton line. Also seen close by was this old railway fence part left behind
Here pretty much half way just after the small lake the old line becomes over grown up to Dersingham A149 bypass it is passable but be carful trust me it takes a bit of bulldozing in parts to get through but only parts some loads easier than others
Close to Dersingham A149 I found these old relics left behind from the railway the top two pictures are fence remains and the third seems to be some sort of railway box maybe electrical not sure if you know feel free to mail me
Also seen in the pictures the trusty old bike dragged through bushes to get this far
close to where the line now crosses the New built a149 Dersingham Snettisham bypass is this last piece of path before i came out by the Pine cones caravan park close to the A149
Approaching Dersingham where the 5 bar gate is in the first picture is roughly where the line crossed the A149 bypass in Dersingham as seen in the Second picture then across and would of ran roughly where the sound barrier bank is to stop the noise from the a149 bypass
Here we see the approach to Dersingham station from wolferton close to where the A149 now stands
Part of what would of been Dersingham sidings in summer 2020 taken at Dersingham station what is now semba trading
Train approaching Dersingham from wolferton
Many thanks for looking that's the end of the wolferton to Dersingham part of Norfolksdisusedrailways.com.Next we see Dersingham to Snettisham
Dersingham to Snettisham Railway Line
Welcome to Dersingham to Snettisham Station section on the now closed Kings Lynn to Hunstanton Railway line Closed may 1969
Dersingham station as seen in the pictures below become a single line during the later days of the line.with also electric level crossing gates.once the line closed the station remains in tact used as a builders merchant semba trading.after Dersingham we see ingoldisthorpe crossing.Then the rest of the walk until as fas as we can get at snettisham.Snettisham was pretty much the start of the coastal part of the line.Even though not classed as a coastal village unlike Heacham and Hunstanton.Snettisham was more coastal than wolferton and Dersingham having left the marsh,Heath land behind from wolferton And Dersingham bog.Also Snettisham had the first beach on the line more mud and stone than Heacham and Hunstanton's sand and stone beach.Snettisham beach was quite a fair way away from the Village station what was a few miles up in the main Village.Snettisham station also had 4 sidings for freight use .Some of the buildings survive to this day in 2020 as you will see in the pictures below.Snettisham station also survives and is used as a residential house.As do some of the old Station buildings from the Kings Lynn Hunstanton Railway.Some converted into news flats/houses Called if I remember the sidings estate
In 2004, the signal box was moved to Hardingham on the Mid-Norfolk Railway
Dersingham great eastern Railway Station Norfolk
The half way point on the Kings Lynn to Hunstanton Railway
The platforms are Now used as a builders merchant semba trading as are the land from the sidings
The station house in the past few years has been restored to its former glory
Dersingham station close to closure as you can see the line here has already been made into a single line
Dersingham Railway Station in summer 2020 now operating as a builders merchant in the village.Also as you can see how the Station house has recently been done up and now used as accomadition