The Railway is taking a national leading role in the development and trialling of e-coal for Heritage use. The trials have the engagement and support of The Advanced Steam Traction Trust, The Heritage Railways Association and Network Rail. The e-coal comprises waste biomass from the Olive Oil production process, blended with coal dust, both of which would otherwise go to landfill. This blend gives a 42% reduction in CO2 emissions.
Our work on sustainable steam won us the HRA Award for Environmental Innovation at the Heritage Railway Association Annual Awards in March 2022.
We have taken advice from the Norfolk Wildlife Trust and ecological firms to formulate a sustainable and responsible ecological and environmental management policy for the railway. This includes the preservation of wildflower meadows along our track, protecting the fastest disappearing habitat in the UK.
Andrew Barnes, Managing Director, says “We are proud to be taking a leading role in the environmental sustainability of steam railways and at the same time recognised as one of the top steam railways in the country.”
For our full history, have a read of our Early Years
and from 1982 onwards
The Bure Valley Railway was opened in July 1990 and is a major tourist attraction within Norfolk, which welcomes over 100,000 visitors a year. With a small team of dedicated staff and volunteers, the railway operates on a not for profit basis. Husband and wife team, Andrew and Susan, head up the management team. Andrew’s love of railways from a young age drew him to Norfolk and he became involved in the railway as a volunteer in its infancy and subsequently gave up his job in London a few years ago to work at the railway full-time.
The Railway is built on the trackbed of the former Great Eastern Railway between Wroxham and Aylsham. Originally opened in 1880 the line survived for passenger traffic until 1952, eleven years before the infamous Beeching Report! The line did, however, survive for the purpose of carrying freight, a role it performed until the line was formally closed by British Rail in 1982.
Norfolk County Council had an enlightened policy of safeguarding closed railway routes for use as footpaths. Through a partnership between local government and the private sector, a narrow-gauge line was built between Aylsham and Wroxham, with a nine-mile long footpath running alongside.
The railway is owned by a small group of enthusiasts and is operated entirely on a not for profit basis, with any profits being reinvested.
The railway's success over the years is a credit to the team of volunteers who help out on a regular and irregular basis, alongside the railway's own paid staff.
Volunteering for the Bure Valley Railway is a great way to get involved with the local community, make new friends and learn new skills. Our friendly team always have a warm welcome for new faces and there is a myriad of tasks and opportunities that you can help us with, both railway and non-railway related. Our Volunteer Coordinator would be happy to meet with you and discuss what opportunities the railway has to offer.
Find out more about volunteering with us here
If you feel volunteering is not for you, but you would like to support the Railway, why not join The Friends of The Bure Valley Railway
, our Independent Supporters' Organisation.
We work with local businesses to source our goods, services and produce for our Whistlestop Café
and encourage our visitors to explore local towns and villages as part of their visit to the railway.