Record Details

NHER Number:13578
Type of record:Monument
Name:Eastern Union Railway Norwich Extension (Norwich to Diss)

Summary

The Norwich to London via Diss railway line was considered of crucial importance to Norwich during the 19th century, when despite lines being built across the country, Norwich risked remaining unconnected to the capital. A connection via Cambridge was opened in 1845, but in 1849 a direct route through Diss and Ipswich was opened under the name Eastern Union Railway. The construction of this line involved the erection of an iron bridge across the road in Diss, as well as a multi-arched viaduct at Harford Bridges. Communities along the line such as Mellis, Tivetshall, Forncett, Flordon and Swainsthorpe were all served by their own stations, and the line originally terminated at the Norwich Victoria station, a building adapted from its forerunner the New Adelphi Theatre. The constituent railway companies and their lines were amalgamated into Greater Eastern Railway in 1862. As a result, Norwich Victoria was closed in 1916 and the trains diverted into Thorpe Station. The post-war period of nationalisation also saw the closure in 1966 of a number of the small stations, including Flordon, Forncett, Tivetshall, Burston, Mellis and Finningham. In the 1980s the closure of the British Rail coal depot at Queen's Road, Norwich also saw the final closure of the now defunct Victoria Station, the site of which is now occupied by Sainsburys.

Images - none

Location

Grid Reference:TM 18366 93587
Map Sheet:TM19SE
Parish:BURSTON WITH SHIMPLING, SOUTH NORFOLK, NORFOLK
CAISTOR ST EDMUND, SOUTH NORFOLK, NORFOLK
DISS, SOUTH NORFOLK, NORFOLK
FLORDON, SOUTH NORFOLK, NORFOLK
FORNCETT, SOUTH NORFOLK, NORFOLK
GISSING, SOUTH NORFOLK, NORFOLK
GREAT MELTON, SOUTH NORFOLK, NORFOLK
NEWTON FLOTMAN, SOUTH NORFOLK, NORFOLK
NORWICH, NORWICH, NORFOLK
STOKE HOLY CROSS, SOUTH NORFOLK, NORFOLK
SWAINSTHORPE, SOUTH NORFOLK, NORFOLK
TIVETSHALL ST MARGARET, SOUTH NORFOLK, NORFOLK
WACTON, SOUTH NORFOLK, NORFOLK

Full description

Later Great Eastern. Opened 1847-9 from Haughley.
Norwich Victoria-Trowse Upper Junction (spur to Trowse Lower Junction, now main line)-Harford Sidings (long disused, though once reinstated for scrapyard railway)-Swainsthorpe-Florden-Forncett Junction-Forncett- Tivetshall (junction and watertroughs)-Burston-Diss (with goods yard)- county boundary. Now used as main line but most stations gone.
The water troughs were the first to be laid by the GER, in order to make the Norfolk Coast Express non-stop, in 1896
Just after Flordon station was a mineral branch into Ballast Plantation pit - traces remain.
Context 1 at 2279 0533 Lakenham parish: Lakenham Viaduct. Brick, six arches, red brick with yellow brick trimmings slightly squat.
Seen E. Rose (NAU), 1976.

(S1) states viaduct by Locke, Bruff and Brassey 312ft (95m) long, six arches of 42-45ft (12.8 to 13.8m) spans, 25 degrees skew, 40ft (12m) high. The 'yellow bricks' are Suffolk whites.
E. Rose (NAU), 13 January 1997.

Signal box from Swainsthorpe moved to Wells and Walsingham light railway February 1987.
See (S2).
E. Rose (NAU), 23 February 1987.

Newspaper cuttings in file (S3), (S4), (S5), (S6).

By 1987 the station was demolished as other stations had better access routes. The site is now a supermarket and the line has been pulled up, although most of the old bridges remain.
NIAS records (S7)
W. Arnold HES 17/01/11

Monument Types

  • RAILWAY (Post Medieval to Modern - 1849 AD? to 2050 AD)
  • RAILWAY TRANSPORT SITE (Post Medieval to Modern - 1849 AD? to 2050 AD)
  • VIADUCT (Post Medieval to Modern - 1849 AD? to 2050 AD)

Associated Finds - none

Protected Status - none

Sources and further reading

---Aerial Photograph: Edwards, D.A. (NLA). 1998. TG2407/ACB - ACJ.
---Graphic material: Various. Various. Architectural plans..
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1999. The rise and demise of a grand old rail line. 20 April.
---Monograph: Anderson, R. & Saunders. D.. 1999. Rediscovering Railways: Norfolk Past and Present.. March.
---Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 2010. Business to be boosted by Boudicca. 2 September.
---Secondary File: Secondary file.
<S1>Monograph: Labrun, E.A.. 1994. Civil Engineering Heritage, East and Central England.. p 122-3.
<S2>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1987. New home for rail signal box. 23 February.
<S3>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1977. Ghost Station (photograph of Swainsthorpe station). 21 January.
<S4>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1984. New Bridge Work. 30 January. 2.
<S5>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1985. Bridging new railway era. 19 February.
<S6>Newspaper Article: Eastern Daily Press. 1986. Parting of ways for crossing keepers. 13 January.
<S7>Archive: NIAS. Norfolk Industrial Archaeology Society Records.

Related records

53375Parent of: Probable World War Two defences at Harford sidings (Monument)
52494Parent of: Site of World War Two railblock on Eastern Union Railway Norwich Extension (Monument)

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