EXCERPTS FROM THE 1845 ISSUE OF WHITE'S HISTORY, GAZETTEER AND DIRECTORY OF NORFOLK
"Norfolk has already a Railway from Norwich to Yarmouth; and
another is in rapid progress from Norwich to Brandon, to connect the county
with the great lines now traversing the kingdom. The former was opened in 1844;
and the latter will be completed in 1845."
"........various railroads are projected, by which it is proposed to intersect the county in nearly every direction, and to obtain a more direct communication with London, Ipswich, etc., than the Norwich and Brandon line affords. These schemes are now (March 1845) under the consideration of Parliament; - some will, no doubt, be sanctioned, and others postponed or abandoned; indeed, we think several of them could never be made profitable speculations."
"The Yarmouth and Norwich Railway is a single line, with electric
telegraphs, and has commodious stations at each terminus, and
smaller stations at the Brandon Junction, (one mile from the Norwich station,)
at Brundall, Buckenham, Cantley,
and Reedham, from the latter of which it is now
proposed to make a branch line direct to Lowestoft. Its length is 20½ miles,
and passing along the vale of the Yare, within a
short distance of the north bank of the river, its gradients are so favourable,
that Messrs. Grissell and Peto contracted for the execution of the whole of the works
at the rate of £10,000 per mile. It was opened to the public May 1st, 1844, and
the event was marked with great festivity and rejoicing; for, though there are
different opinions as to the benefits conferred by railways, so general has
been there adoption, and so effectually do they draw all inland communication
into their vortex, that no place of consequence can rest satisfied without
connecting itself with the main lines which now traverse the kingdom in all
directions. The first successful effort towards accomplishing this object in
Norfolk, is the line from Yarmouth to Norwich; and since the spring of 1844,
the works of the Norwich and Brandon Railway have been in active
progress. This line passes near Wymondham, Attleborough, and Thetford; and at
Brandon will be joined by the Northern and Eastern Railway, from London,
via Cambridge. The latter will form a junction at Ely, with the line now
in progress from thence to Peterborough, Northampton, &c.
When these lines are completed, the eastern parts of England will be connected
with all the great railways now traversing the Midland, Western, Southern, and
Northern parts of the kingdom; but it is proposed to have a more direct
communication between Norfolk and London, by two other lines now projected; one
from Norwich to Diss, Ipswich and Colchester; and another branch from
the Brandon line, near Thetford, to Bury St. Edmund's and Bishop
Stortford. Other lines projected from Lynn to Ely, and from Lynn
to East Dereham and Norwich, and no doubt they will ultimately be carried
into effect, and that branch lines will be made to other towns in Norfolk, so
that this extensive county may then be traversed from end to end in a few
hours, and will have a ready and expeditious transit to and from London and the
populous districts of the north and west. By means of the Electric
Telegraphs on the Yarmouth and Norwich Railway, a question may be asked at
one end of the line, and an answer returned from the other almost
"Passenger Trains leave the stations at Norwich and Yarmouth, every hour; and Luggage Trains four times a-day. The "cheap third class trains" leave Norwich at 4 aftn. and Yarmouth at 12 noon, - G. N. Tootal, Secretary. The BRANCH RAILWAY OFFICES are - for Parcels, at the Norfolk Hotel; and for Goods and Merchandise, at Messrs. Geldart and Bolton's, Wensum street. The charges per ton for carriage, to or from Yarmouth, (20½ miles,) is 1s. 6d. for heavy, and 2s. 6d. for light goods."
"Foundry Bridge was opened, free of toll, to the public, Feb. 10, 1845."
"WYMONDHAM, or WINDHAM, is an ancient market town, pleasantly
situated on rising ground, upon the Norwich and Thetford turnpike, skirted on
two sides by a rivulet......."
"The Norwich and Brandon Railway crosses the parish parallel with the turnpike, within about half a mile south of the town, where there is a commodious brick Station, erected in 1844-5......."
"MAIL, to London, 6 evg., and to Norwich 8 mrng. COACHES and CARRIERS, to Norwich, &c. pass daily; but after the Norwich and Brandon Railway is opened, in the summer of 1845, many of the present conveyances will give place to the Railway Trains, which will leave Wymondham station several times a day, for London, Norwich, &c."
"ATTLEBOROUGH, or Attleburgh, is a
small ancient market town, near the source of a small rivulet, 15 miles
S.W. of Norwich, 14 miles N.E. by E. of Thetford, and 6 miles S.W. of
Wymondham. The town is pleasantly situated on the Norwich and Thetford
turnpike, and on the north side of the Norwich and Brandon Railway,
which will be opened in the summer of 1845, and has a neat station here, from
which it is intended to extend a branch to Diss."
"COACHES, VANS, &c. to Norwich, London, Thetford, Cambridge, &c., call daily at the Inns, but they will no doubt be discontinued once the RAILWAY is opened, in the summer of 1845."
"THETFORD, an ancient Borough and Market Town, was once a
large and important City, being the capital of the kingdom of East
Anglia, in the Saxon era......"
A branch line will shortly be extended from Thetford to the Norwich and Brandon Railway at Santon, and it is also proposed to construct railways from Thetford to Wells and Bury St. Edmund's; the latter to be extended to the London line at Bishop Stortford."
"The Norwich and Brandon Railway will be completed before the close of 1845, and will have a branch to Thetford. After it is opened, the Norwich and London coaches will cease running."
"EAST DEREHAM, or MARKET DEREHAM, is the most central, and one of
the handsomest market towns in Norfolk..... Companies have been formed and
surveys made for the construction of RAILWAYS from this flourishing little town
to Norwich and Lynn, and to Wells and Thetford; thus to connect it with the
extremes of Norfolk, and the great lines now traversing all parts of the
kingdom. Two routes are proposed to Norwich, one direct, and the other
to Wymondham. The latter is intended to be opened before the close of
1845; and for the terminus, the Company have already (Nov. 1844,)
purchased property near the top of Church street, covering about five acres.
The principal entrance to the Station will open into the Market
KING'S LYNN ".......Lynn is now making great efforts to connect itself with the extensive Railways now traversing the kingdom. A company has been established with a capital of £200,000, in £25 shares, for the formation of a line to be called the Lynn and Ely Railway, which will pass by Market Downham, and will form a junction at Ely with railways to Cambridge and London, to Brandon, Thetford, and Norwich, and to Peterborough, Northampton, and the Midland, Western and Northern Counties. It is also intended to apply to Parliament for acts for the formation of Railways from Lynn to East Dereham; from the latter town to Norwich; from Wells to Fakenham and East Dereham; from Thetford to Bury-St.-Edmund's; and from Attleborough, on the Norwich line, to Diss, Ipswich and Colchester."
YARMOUTH "Steam Packets ply twice a-day on the Yare, to and from Norwich and Yarmouth; and since 1844, the two places have been connected by a RAILWAY, on the single line system, with electric telegraphs........ Trains to Norwich several times a day. The formation of a Railway from Yarmouth to Beccles and Diss, at the cost of £260,000, is in contemplation."