King's Lynn South
Midland and Great Northern Joint Railway.
Hi, and welcome to Norfolks Disused Railways coverage from the M&gn line between King's Lynn South and Fakenham West with all the stations and various remains of this old railway left along this old railway line.
The M&gn railway was commonly known by the nickname, calling it the Muddle and go nowhere.
The M&gn was a vast railway network covering parts all over Norfolk and some neighbouring counties.
The Norfolk part of the M&gn started at Walpole, close to the Norfolk Border, King's Lynn South station was the first large station in Norfolk.
Also at South Lynn was the South Lynn Junction that took trains off towards King's Lynn central station that had services to London, Dereham and Hunstanton.
Also, Kings Lynn had the docks branch line and the Harbour junction at Kings Lynn that the M&gn trains from all over the surrounding country could access the docks via this Junction.
Hunstanton had regular through trains from London via the Fenline and traditional holiday and tourist trains from the M&gn railway that ran summer special trains via South Lynn through to the coastal resort of Hunstanton that closed in 1969.
It said that part of the reason the Hunstanton Line closed was not due to Beeching Cuts. The line was Recommended to stay open from Dr Beeching, but when the M&gn closed, the through trains to Hunstanton stopped affecting the profits made on this old closed line.
The Line from Kings's Lynn south came from Sutton Bridge in Lincolnshire.
Sutton Bridge also had lines arrive from Spalding to Sutton Bridge and from Peterborough to Sutton Bridge, bringing trains into Kings Lynn South and then off on the M&gn to various places along the Norfolk coast, including Great Yarmouth, Cromer, Sheringham.
The m&gn railway also covered stations in Fakenham, Norwich, via the Junction at Melton Constable, also covered on the Norfolks Disused Railways website.
The M&gn in-between Sheringham and Holt is still used as the North Norfolk Preserved Railway.
The station at Sheringham is the original station, like the Station at Weybourne.
The Station at Holt is not the original station as the old one was demolished to make way for the A148 bypass, so the station at the end of the line is a newer platform built by the North Norfolk Railway.
The North Norfolk Railway and the Mid Norfolk Railway are hoping to join up parts of these to different lines to create the Norfolk Orbital Railway.
The stations at North Runton and cromer are the only two stations left from the M&Gn in use and the station at North Runton still has signage in M&gn style.
The Part Covered here on this page Between Kings Lynn South & Fakenham West was opened to Massingham on 16 August 1879, extending to Fakenham on 16 August 1880.
On 12 August 1880, Lynn and Fakenham approved extending to Norwich via Melton Constable.
The Station in Norwich was Called Norwich City and was sadly destroyed in World war 2 in 1942, and to this day, some of the stations remain as part of the Marriotts Way walk covered here.
The Stations covered on this Page Start in Norfolk at
South Lynn opened on 1 January 1886 and closed on 2 March 1959
South Lynn Junction
Gayton Road opened on 1 July 1887 and closed on 2 March 1959
Grimston Road opened on 16 August 1879; closed on 2 March 1959
Hillington opened on 16 August 1879 and closed on 2 March 1959
Massingham opened on 16 August 1879 and closed on 2 March 1959
Rudham opened on 16 August 1880 renamed East Rudham on 1 March 1882 closed on 2 March 1959
Raynham Park opened on 16 August 1880 and closed on 2 March 1959
Fakenham Town opened on 16 August 1880 and was renamed Fakenham West on 27 September 1948, closed on 2 March 1959
Most of the M&gn closed in 1959, and some parts survived until 1964 for passengers.
The part between South Lynn and East Rudham remained open for freight use until 1967
The Bridge code used along this line, Pmy2, stands for
South Lynn to Yarmouth.
Pmy1 was from Peterborough to South Lynn.
Some parts, stations and bridges remain to this day and are pretty easy to find. Some features of the M&gn are used as Heritage railways, and some parts are used as public walkways, most commonly the Marriotts Way walk starting at the old Norwich city station site.
My Google Map Coverage of the
M&gn South Lynn to Fakenham
Below is the Google maps coverage of all the M&GN stations in and outside Norfolk.
Sutton Bridge & Cross Keys Bridge
Starting Just Outside Norfolk at the marvel of Crosskeys Bridge, I know this page is South Lynn to Fakenham, but I could not help putting pictures of this lovely bridge on this page.
Sutton Bridge Station opened on the 1st of March 1866 and closed to passengers on the 2nd of March 1959 and to freight in 1965.
After Sutton Bridge, the train called at.
Walpole, Terrington, and Clenchwarton before arriving at South Lynn.
The Bridge was called Crosskeys Bridge and was built for a dual purpose bridge to take the M&gn and road traffic over the river.
When the M&gn closed, the bridge remained and is now used for road traffic from the A17.
The A17 was Built on lots of the M&gn Railway bed, and on parts of the A17, you can still see some old Railway Fence Posts.
Cross Keys Bridge was Built in 1897, and in 2022 it had an excellent refreshing paint job.
There is also a page on my website dedicated to railways sited outside Norfolk and Crosskeys Bridge, and the Walpole station Memorial site that is on here. Please feel free to look.
Most of the lines covered in the other lines page are in Cambridgeshire.
Cross keys bridge past & Present maps
Below we see two old pictures from Facebook of an M&gn train crossing the Bridge heading towards South Lynn.
The Final destination of these services is unknown and could have been going to Norwich, Great Yarmouth, Lowestoft, or Hunstanton.
Cross keys bridge thanks to Britain from the above website.
In both images, the bridge is still in use as both road use and rail use carrying the M&gn railway.
Cross Keys Bridge was seen here in 2021
Cross keys Bridge now carries road traffic from the busy A17 from King's Lynn to Sleaford and Newark and onto the A1 for road links to the North of England.
Considering the traffic volume and age, it is in fantastic condition and still swings open to let river traffic through to the Wisbech docks.
South Lynn Station
Here we arrive at South Lynn Station on the M&gn. South Lynn was a busy station but far less active than the central station in the town centre, as this station was on the outskirts of King's Lynn.
There have been talks of reopening a south Lynn station park and ride for the fen line to London King's Cross as part of the Nar Ouse project, but in recent times I have heard nothing else about this in local papers or news.
South Lynn Took Trains to
Fakenham-Melton Constable-Great Yarmouth-Cromer-Sheringham-Norwich-Spalding-Peterborough-Wisbech
Hunstanton bound trains passed through here from the midlands and Lincolnshire via a Shuttle line into the Main King's Lynn Station and then on to the Norfolk Coast.
Many thanks to Ben Brooksbank for this picture of 61530 at South Lynn station in 1954
We see South Lynn Station station with a picture from the
King's Lynn Forums webpage is below.
The picture below is at King's Lynn central station with an M&gn train arriving from South Lynn via the junction at South Lynn.
This picture could have been a Hunstanton Branch line train.
South Lynn station year unknown from the air
Picture used from Britain from above | Historic England
Here we see the old South Lynn site taken from Saddlebow Road just above the newly built bridge that carries the Saddlebow industrial estate traffic across where the old track bed once laid.
Once the M&gn closed, the track was used for freight traffic for the beet factory at Saddlebow.
The Bridge seen here was built long after the M&gn closed & was built to take traffic over the old sugar beet line.
This picture we see here was taken not long after the track was lifted.
The year is unknown.
Thanks to Paul Miller via Wikimedia for the use of his picture.
Here we see the New built bridge from the other side of Saddlebow Road facing away from South Lynn and heading towards Gayton Road and the Harbour junction.
When this bridge was built, there would have been a railway line heading towards the King's Lynn central line via a junction and onto the Harbour junction and through to either the central station or the King's Lynn Docks branch
When this bridge was built, the M&Gn would have been long closed.
Here we see the old Track bed from the old M&gn railway. At this time, this track would have been used as freight to the beet factory at Saddlebow.
Thanks to Paul Miller via Wikimedia for this picture
After Leaving South Lynn Station, the M&gn would have crossed one of these bridges or branched off towards King's Lynn to link up for London | Dereham | Hunstanton | Wells via Heacham on the Hunstanton branch line.
Here we see The first bridge after South Lynn, the South Lynn to King's Lynn shuttle bridge that took trains from The south Lynn station to The town Station and then off to Hunstanton or Dereham.
Here We see the second bridge at South Lynn that took the M&gn off towards its next station.
Once the M&gn train had passed over this bridge, it would have passed over the top of the Fen-line via a demolished bridge that I think was taken down entirely during the Fen lines Electrification in 1992
The line the M&gn ran over was from King's Lynn central to Ely Cambridge London-Liverpool Street.
Once passed over the Fen line, the M&gn headed off towards Gayton Road station through open land that is still pretty clear; the line ran once around the borderline of the Hardwick Narrows estate that was built after closure.
After Passing the rear of the Hardwick Narrows industrial estate, the line would have passed over where the A10 now Stands. Underneath the after-built A47 King's Lynn Swaffham bypass before heading down to what is now a farm track that can be easily seen from the A47, this is the old track bed that took the line towards the next bridge where the M&gn crossed over the top of the Lynn Dereham line.
Please see the short video below of M&gn Maps past & present.
Many thanks to Andy f for the use of this image of the bridge remains that once carried the M&gn railway over the Kings Lynn to Dereham line.
The old Lynn Dereham is now used for freight use for sand trains as far as Middleton Towers. This old bridge support can be seen from the A149 Kings Lynn in between the QE Hospital roundabout and the Hardwick roundabout.
Sadly since this bridge had been seriously covered in graffiti since this was taken.
After the M&gn crossed over the top of the Dereham line, the line then headed off towards Gayton road station at Bawsey. The line is clear today, but several quarries have been dug out in the past, for silica sand, taken to Middleton Tower's old station from the Lynn to Dereham branch line that closed in 1968 but still has a short part open between Middleton & King's Lynn.
The map below Thanks to the national library of Scotland shows the two lines crossing
Next, we come to the approach to Gayton Road station at Bawsey.
In Bawsey country park, we have this old bridge remaining.
Gayton Road bridge at Bawsey park pmy271
The Bridge code used along this line, Pmy2, stands for
South Lynn to Yarmouth.
Pmy1 was from Peterborough to South Lynn.
Gayton Road Station
Gayton Road station opened on 1 July 1887. It was closed on 2 March 1959
Gayton Road station had two platforms and was situated below the road level we see today on the B1145 at Bawsey.
When the station was open, a bridge went over the road, and the railway ran underneath and through the now waste management yard at Bawsey.
Today there are remains of the platforms, luckily hidden away in the overgrowth, so luckily, graffiti artists have left this old wonder alone, and please keep it that way.
The station buildings have all gone. All that remains is a small brick part of what looks to be an old waiting room.
Gayton Road Station
When the station was still open.
The road bridge in the distance is now gone. Where the railway bridge once stood, the road has been levelled and the sides infilled.
Driving past Gayton road station, you would never know there is a platform hidden in the overgrowth so close.
Just below the road level.
Credit Facebook memory of Norfolks railways
Gayton Road railway station remains in 2020
Gayton Road station was one of the most challenging stations I found, and once I saw it, it should have been the easiest one to find as it's so close to the main road.
Gayton Road station, during certain times of the year, can get very wet and overgrown and even from the main road, it's not easy to spot in the summer months.
Guess that's a good thing in a way.
Gayton Road station 2021
In march 2021 I decided to head back to Gayton Road station.
Having passed these many times and looking from the road seeing them I finally made it back whilst the platforms were not too overgrown or too wet to reach.
Gayton road station at Bawsey also had sidings just before the station that went off towards the old Bawsey brickworks.
Thanks to Norfolks Heritage Explorer, they closed in 1942, and most carriages were horse-drawn at the works.
Here just by the entrance to Bawsey country park, there are these old rails still laying down.
In between Gayton Road and Grimston road, the line would ran through a now waste management company Baco Compak. The land here has been built up as the railway station remains of Gayton Road are below the road level. The skip storage road is roughly where the line ran, leaving Gayton Road railway station on route to Grimston road station in Roydon. The fence post in the first picture was taken up the embankment between Baco compak and the Sandboy public house in Bawsey.
The old railway line is now used as skip storage.
This roadway has been built up since the line closed the embankments can still be seen to the sides
After the waste management yard, we come to this old railway bridge over the Gaywood river. The bridge number for this is unknown.
This Bridge is not easy to reach and is best to access from Cliff En Howe Road and not trespass on the private farmland.
The approach to the Gaywood river bridge with what can be seen looking like an old sleeper in the field.
I am not sure if this is part of the old railway or added after.
What remains of the old Gaywood river bridge.
The Gaywood bridge with an old railway fence is seen here. Please excuse this picture. The fence is not bent. I used my Go-pro to take this picture, and it fisheyes some parts of the photograph.
Salters road &
In between this bridge just after Gayton road and Cliff-en Howe road crossing there was the Gaywood junction & the Salters road junction.
The Gaywood junction linked up the M&gn South Lynn to Fakenham line up to the Lynn Hunstanton line and then on to a new terminus at Austin Street in
Kings Lynn via Salters road junction.
This Gaywood junction was just over 3 miles long and abandoned in 1886.
Once it reached the Lynn Hunstanton branch at a triangular junction, the railway was proposed to head off at Salters road crossing for half a mile before picking up the docks branch and then off to the new terminus at Austin Street in King's Lynn.
The Terminus at Austin street was never used and is said to have been used as railway offices, and the line was never used for traffic.
Where the track bed laid at North Lynn remains evident to this day at Loke road, also at Loke road, what could have been a crossing cottage remains there.
The maps below show where the Gaywood abandoned junction left the M&gn at Bawsey.
Thanks once again to the National Library of Scotland for the maps used
The following map shows where the Gaywood junction would have come out onto the Hunstanton Railway; also seen is the start of the salter's road junction.
Abandoned Salters road junction and where the railway would have picked up the King's Lynn docks railway
After the abandoned Gaywood junction, the line headed off towards Hillington station going through Roydon common by Cliff-en-Howe Road, where just after an old crossing cottage, I found this small old bridge on the walk between Cliff-en-Howe road and Lynn Road on the National wildlife walk along the old M&gn line.
Facing towards Hillington from the National wildlife walk at Roydon common, along the old track bed from the M&gn.
Grimston Road station
Grimston road station is the next station on the M&gn after Gayton road.
Grimston road was not actually in Grimston but in the Village of Roydon.
Grimston road station
Opened on the 16 August 1879
Closed to passengers on the 2 March 1959
And finally Closed to freight on the 19 April 1965
Grimston Road Station had two platforms that in this day are no more, and all that remains is the Station building that's now used as offices for Ifs Chemicals.
Seen below is what remains of Grimston Road station.
To the left, Ifs chemical's yard
& to the Right, we see the Union Jack Public house.
Congham railway bridge pmy276 Saint Andrews lane Congham pe321ds. Sadly, like most bridges, graffiti has been sprayed all over.
This bridge carried road traffic over the top whilst the railway ran under the bridge.
This old railway bridge at Congham was one of the first bridges I discovered when I started tracing Norfolk's old railway network.
Sadly now the bridge at Congham, like many others around the country, are getting filled in like
This one at Congham
Taken in July 2021
It said that this bridge needed filling in for the beet traffic in the winter months to help it take the weight of the HGV lorry that understandably needs this road for farming use.
After the railway passed under the bridge at Congham, the line headed off towards its next stop at Hillington.
The railway would have passed through woodland and open countryside to reach its next station Hillington, but before reaching there, the railway would have passed over this small bridge just before Hillington station.
Hillington railway bridge remains pmy278. In between Grimston road and Hillington station.
The land today and in between these two bridges remains open and unobstructed.
Hillington station was the next station along the line. It was only 3 Miles away from the Royal estate of Sandringham, Hillington could have been the royal estate's station, but Wolferton was chosen.
Even though it was a slightly longer distance at 3.5 miles away, Wolferton had better links to London.
Hillington had two platforms and
opened like most on
16 August 1879
2 March 1959 was closed to passengers
19 April 1965 was closed to freight
To this day, the old station building looks unlived in but is in good condition, and the station master's house is lived in and kept in fantastic condition.
Hillington station when open, year unknown
Thanks to Norfolk orbital Facebook page for this picture.Photograph courtesy of James Savory.
A old sign from Hillington at Wymondham station.Im not sure if this sign was at Wymondham station or Wymondham abbey from the Mid-Norfolk railway.
Credit to Ashley dace from Wikimedia
Hillington railway station in 2020
After Hillington, you can see where the M&gn or, Muddle and go nowhere got its nickname as the line passed through basically nowhere, just through fields on its way to Fakenham with a few more stations along the route that was in the middle of yep nowhere.
To this day, the line followed where the A148 now runs from Hillington to where the dog hotel is situated on what looks to be an old crossing cottage.
The line after here went to the right, leaving where the A148 now runs and following Lower Lynn Road.
You can see where the old railway once ran by the railway fence posts photographed in October 2022.
Also, just up from the dog hotel, not railway related, there is what I believe to be an old fuel pumping station for the also closed Raf Sculthorpe base a few miles away.
Even though Raf Sculthorpe had a pumping station close by, the nearest station for personnel would have been Fakenham station.
Old Fence posts mark out where the old track bed once was from the M&gn between Hillington and Massingham station.
Along Lower Lynn road.
Taken in October 2022
Track bed from the old M&gn heading towards Little Massingham in October 2022.
Not far after this public footpath ,we arrive at the next station Massingham.
Massingham station on the M&gn was sited in Little Massingham, quite far away from the main village on the outskirts.
Massingham had two platforms and was the only station on the Lynn Fakenham line with a footbridge linking the two platforms.
Massingham opened on the 16th of august 1879 and later was extended from Massingham to Fakenham, opening in 1880
Massingham closed to passenger traffic in 1959
Massingham closed to freight traffic in January 1966
Thanks to Wikipedia for this picture.
Massingham Station in October 2022
The station buildings remain in fantastic condition and are now privately owned premises.
Inbetween Massingham and the Next station East Rudham the M&gn passed through fields and soon arrived at its next destination just over 3 miles away.
East Rudham station
East Rudham on the M&gn was the next station along the line and had two platforms that looked like there were three sidings and goods shed.
East Rudham had a passing point at the station.
East Rudham would have been the closest railway station close to RAF West Raynham, even though the next station down the line was Raynham park station East Rudham was closer to the Second World War airbase.
West Raynham airfield opened in May 1939 only twenty years before the last passenger train left the station.
Raf West Raynham closed in 1994 and was used by the Raf Bomber command
East Rudham station opened in
August 1880 as Rudham.
In March 1882, the station was renamed East Rudham.
In March 1959, the Station closed to passengers.
In April 1967, the station closed to freight.
East Rudham was the last station along the line that had remained open until 1967 for freight use from South Lynn.
East Rudham station in 2020
East Rudham station in 2022
Leaving East Rudham station, we head off through open fields towards Raynham park station. This old part of the track bed still sits at the edge of this field when photographed in 2021.
Looking from Broomsthorpe road towards East Rudham along the old track bed between Raynham park station & East Rudham
Taken in July 2021
Broomsthorpe road disused bridge crossing
After the Broomsthorpe road bridge, the railway passed through a small wooded area before reaching its next station.
Raynham park station
Raynham park was built for traffic from Raynham hall, one and a half miles away from the station that was built had no houses close by.
Also, there was a Raf West Raynham that, as stated further above on this webpage, served by East Rudham.
Raynham station had two platforms.
Closed completely in 1959
To this day, the station remains in fantastic condition and is used as a private residence.
Well done to the owners for keeping this building in such a fantastic condition.
Raynham park railway station in 2020
After Raynham park, the Railway headed towards its Next station Fakenham West.
Before reaching Fakenham, the line went through the open countryside, passing over Doughton crossing and arriving at Shereford bridge.
Hereford bridge, like the one earlier at Congham, had been infilled to strengthen the old bridge for road traffic.
The picture below was sourced from Facebook, and the author is unknown.
The bridge at Shereford before being filled in.
View of Shereford bridge in October 2022
Stood on the Shereford Road Bridge looking towards Raynham park station where the old track bed would of laid.
On the Fakenham side of the bridge sits an old plate-layers hut.
The old track bed is heading off towards Fakenham West.
Now a public walk from Sherford bridge to Fakenham by the garden centre.
Called the Wensum walk.
The old track bed is now used as a public walk called the Wensum walk.
The Wensum walk can be seen in the distance in this picture.
At the end of the track bed along the Wensum walk, we cross the road by the Fakenham garden centre, and the M&gn would have passed where the garden centre now stands and through the rear of the Builders merchant and onto the platform at Fakenham.
Fakenham town | West station
Fakenham town opened on the M&gn in 1880 as the second station in the town as Fakenham East was already open by 1848
Fakenham west sees large traffic numbers, especially on a Thursday on market day or racing days.
Fakenham would have also seen numbers of American USAF personnel using the station as this station was the most accessible station to get to from Raf Sculthorpe, which was built in 1943 and refurbished for USAF use in 1949.
The station was opened as
Fakenham town 1880
1910 was renanded Fakenham
1948 was renamed Fakenham west
1959 the station was closed
Fakenham west in 2020 remains as a platform only built into the Jewsons Builders merchants on the outskirts of the town.
Fakenham west railway station remains in 2020
Now a Jewson's builders merchants carpark at fakenham
After Leaving Fakenham, the M&gn went off to Thursford and then the railway works and junction at Melton Constable, where the M&gn could have gone off to Cromer, Norwich, Sheringham, North Walsham or returned to Fakenham & South Lynn.
Also, on Norfolks disused railways, I have a page dedicated to the works and the junction at Melton Constable. Please click the link below for a more detailed page on Melton Constable.
Click the links below for pictures from the M&GNJR at different lines
M&GN Cross keys bridge
M&GN Walpole railway memorial
But one more thing before we finish this page after Fakenham West station on the Great Eastern walk at Fakenham, I found these old railway parts from the M&gn between Fakenham west & Thursford.
First, I found this old part of a bridge that carried the M&gn railway over a small river
After this bridge, I came across this bridge now restored and owned by the Norfolk orbital group.
This bridge carried the great eastern railway from Wymondham to Wells.
Over the top of the M&gn railway
Fakenham has no railway links left at all at this time.
Still, the Norfolk orbital scheme intends to connect the Mid Norfolk and North Norfolk railways to the main lines at both ends, one at the Wymondham end of the Mid Norfolk Railway and connect up from county school to Holt via Fakenham to the North Norfolk Railway.
Thanks for reading my page.
Please feel free to look at all my other routes and follow me on Twitter for more updates and routes that will be added in time.