The Bure Valley Railway is a major tourist attraction within Norfolk and 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 little boy 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.
On 10th July 1990 the Bure Valley Railway was opened with all due ceremony by journalist and TV presenter Miles Kington.