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Stations on the Coastal Line

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A Running in Board is a large sign showing the name of the railway station on the platform.  The signs are intended to inform passengers of their location as their train pulls into the station, possibly while still moving at speed.

In normal circumstances a two-platform station has one running in board on each platform, situated near the end of the platform that the trains serving the platform will run in – hence ‘running in board’.

Did you know…
During the Second World War, running in boards in the United Kingdom were removed or obscured to prevent enemy spies or paratroopers from easily discovering their location

The halt is a lovely old fashioned term that conjures up images of rural quaintness that’s been lost over time, but that will live on in memories due to the unique part they played in the life of the communities they served.

Back in the day, a passenger station was defined as such by the fact of being able to issue tickets, and a goods station by virtue of being able to receive and handover merchandise/goods, etc to the public.

The halt, or station halt, was a station that had minimal facilities and where trains would usually only stop if the guard advised the driver of anyone travelling there or if there were passengers waiting on the (usually) single platform.   They were usually unmanned which meant that tickets had to be bought on the train.

Those old enough may remember stations being “demoted to a halt” during the railways modernisation period, including our very own Paston & Knapton station in the 1950s.

Fare Evasion…
It’s worth remembering that a passenger on a train without a ticket could legitimately be there if they’d started their journey at a halt.   This would not be the case where the passenger had boarded at a station.

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North Walsham Main

North Walsham was once the junction of five railways, with lines to Norwich, Aylsham, Cromer, Mundesley and Yarmouth. As a result of the commercial competition and a lack of cooperation between the various private railway companies in the late 19th century, the town originally had two railway stations alongside each other, the now vanished North Walsham Town plus the North Walsham Main which remains as North Walsham on today’s Bittern Line.

m Main station - 1880s - Sinclair Y class loco heads a goods train

North Walsham Main station | 1880s
Sinclair Y class loco heads goods train for Norwich

North Walsham railway station dates back to 1874 and served the GER from Norwich to Cromer High

On 27th September 1948 the station was renamed to North Walsham Main, only to be renamed back to North Walsham on 28th February 1959.

North Walsham Main station - 1971

North Walsham Main railway station

In 2010 the station signs were changed to read “North Walsham, home of Paston College“.

North Walsham Main station just before its demolition

North Walsham Main station
just before demolition of its platform buildings


The station is the site of the only passing loop on the route (although trains can also pass in the station at Cromer), which has been worked remotely from Norwich since the line was re-signalled in 2000. The station goods yard, meanwhile, is the last operational freight location on the line; GB Railfreight dispatches regular bulk trainloads of petrochemicals (gas condensate piped in from various offshore North Sea gas fields) from here to Harwich International.

North Walsham Station today

North Walsham station today

Trains run hourly between Norwich and Sheringham (slightly fewer services on Sundays) which alternate every hour between a stopping service (calling at all stations) and a semi-fast service that only calls at Cromer and Hoveton & Wroxham.

Find more about today’s Bittern Line
on our Public Transport page

North Walsham Town

previous station | next station…………
End of the line | Paston & Knapton

North Walsham station staff - 1898-1906

North Walsham Town station staff
1898 – 1906

North Walsham railway station, the original M&GNJR terminus, opened on 13th June 1881 and served the now closed lines to;

  • Melton Constable via Mundesley and Sheringham (our line)
  • Melton Constable via Aylsham
  • Great Yarmouth via Potter Heigham
North Walsham Town station on 9th Jan 1959

North Walsham Town railway station
9th Jan 1959

It was renamed North Walsham Town on 27th September 1948

Train approaching North Walsham Town station - engine no 43158North Walsham Town station

North Walsham Town railway station

British Railways closed the station to passengers on 28th February 1959 as it was considered to be unprofitable.

North Walsham Town station early 1960s

North Walsham Town station | 1960
just after closure

For more information go to the North Walsham Heritage Centre

North Walsham Town station after closure

Site of North Walsham Town station


Sadly, nothing remains of the North Walsham Town railway station and the site is now used as a gas condensate rail terminal.


previous station | next station……..
Paston & Knapton | Trimingham……….

The fabulous Arts and Crafts extravaganza that was Mundesley-on-Sea railway station opened on 1st July 1898.
It had half-timbered gabled pavilions connected by a graceful, balustrade wooden arcade with a steeply-pitched roof which was punctuated by chunky chimney stacks and a slender clock tower with a cupola.   It was opulent and spacious, boasting four platforms, two signal boxes and its very own engine shed with goods yard.

1915 24th Nov - Mundesley railway station - postcard

Mundesley station
Postcard of 24th Nov 1915

The railway’s expectation was that Mundesley would develop into a major resort and this very fine, substantial railway station was built to impress and cater for the crowds of holiday makers that would surely come.  They were so confident, they even located up to ten Camping Coaches  a year here between 1938 and 1965.

Mundesley station | 1956Mundesley station | 1956

Mundesley Station | 1956

Unfortunately, the reality was somewhat different and the railway’s hopes and expectations never quite materialised.   Passengers numbers started to fall as the Norfolk coast started to lose it’s holiday appeal and revenues generated rarely justified the amount of money the service cost.

Mundesley Station 1964, Camping coaches and DMU on the platform

Mundesley Station | 1958-60
Camping Coach number 157

On 7 April 1953 the station became the terminus of the line from North Walsham when the onward route to Cromer was closed and so it remained until 5th October 1964 when the remainder of the route from North Walsham was closed to passengers and less than three months later, to freight as a result of Beeching’s recommendations.

The station finally closed for good on 28th December 1964 and was demolished shortly after.

Mundesley Station shortly after closure

Mundesley Station shortly after closure


Today, nothing remains of what some people called “the most beautiful railway station in Norfolk“, the site having been redeveloped into a housing estate.

The Last Run (requiem for the Mundesley Line)

The Last Run is a short two page narrative by a writer who simply refers to themself as “mrw“.   Clearly gifted, they paint a picture of what we can only assume was a journey that they had made many times on the coastal line between North Walsham and Mundesley, stopping at Paston & Knapton station along the way.

We don’t know who “mrw” is (or was) but it’s likely that he or she was a regular passenger on the line and, given their obvious local knowledge, probably lived locally at the time.    However what we do know is that the last passenger train service on the line was on 28th December 1964, so given that this typed note was dated 1966 we like to think that one evening, a couple of years after they’d travelled on the line for the last time, they found themselves sat back in their cosy chair in front of a warm fire, their mind drifting back to cherished moments in time as they wrote this piece, recalling familiar scenes, picturesque views and wonderful memories, perhaps tinged with just a hint of sadness…

Who is mrw?

If you know who mrw is, or was, please let us know because with their permission, we would like to find out if they have any other memories that they’d like to share with us.