Timeline of the MGN

1878 Great Yarmouth & Stalham Light Railway opened from Yarmouth to Martham

1879 Lynn & Fakenham Railway opened from Lynn to Massingham

1879 Great Yarmouth & Stalham Light Railway renamed as the Yarmouth & North Norfolk Light Railway

1880 Yarmouth & North Norfolk Railway opened to Stalham

1880 and Lynn & Fakenham opened to Fakenham

1880 Yarmouth Union Railway authorised
The Y.U.R. was over a mile long and went from a junction just outside Beach station, west across Caister Road, then due south back into the town following the backs of the houses in Alderson Road. It then went on to the street by the White Swan Inn and finally made a junction with the Great Eastern tramway line from Vauxhall station just east of the bridge over the Bure. The joint line then continued on to the principal quays alongside the Yare.

1882 Eastern & Midlands Railway Company incorporated by an Act of Parliament
Formed by an amalgamation of the Lynn & Fakenham; Yarmouth & North Norfolk (Light); and Yarmouth Union Railways. These were all formally dissolved on 31st December 1883. The Cromer Railway also comes under the control of the E&M.

1887 Section from Holt to Cromer opens
Now known as the Poppy Line, this section is engineered by William Marriott.

1889 Eastern & Midlands Railway Company falls into financial crisis

1893 The Great Northern and Midland Railways acquire the E&M and form the Midland & Great Northern Joint Railway
The E&M was largely dependent on traffic coming on to its metals from both the Great Northern and the Midland Railways.

1923 With Grouping, the M&GN becomes jointly owned by the LNER and the LMS
The M&GN retains its identity and operations continue unchanged.

1936 M&GN operations are formally taken over by the LNER
Ownership continues to be shared between the LNER and the LMS, although the M&GN continues to be heavily dependent on the LMS for traffic. The Austin Street (King's Lynn) administrative headquarters are closed, along with most of the Melton Constable engineering centre.

1948 Nationalisation

1958 British Railways Committee recommends closure

1959 All of the M&GN is closed, except for the section from Melton Constable to Sheringham
The Midland & Great Northern Joint Railway Preservation Society is formed.

1964 Melton Constable to Sheringham section closes

1973 Light railway order for the Sheringham to Weybourne section granted

1976 Order transferred to the North Norfolk Railway in 1976, and public services begin

1989 Extension to Holt opened


Thank you to Malcolm Peirson for the above information.