Bure Valley Railway: Back Again

The Bure Valley Railway has reopened after the latest Covid-19 lockdown. Services started on Saturday 1st May, but the earliest I could get there was yesterday (the 2nd May!).

My favourite way to enjoy the BVR is to go for a return journey on the train in the morning, then cycle alongside the line on the cycle way / footpath and watch the trains steam past me.

For my morning journey the rostered loco was No. 8 ‘John of Gaunt’.

Originally oil fired, she’s been coal fired for over a decade now. I haven’t visited a heritage railway for over 7 months and it was a pleasure to smell the lovely mixture of smoke, oil and steam again.

At Wroxham the locos are turned on the turntable…

… they head down the loco release…

… they continue beyond the platforms to a special area where they can ‘blowdown’…

… and reverse back to couple to the train.

No 8 is painted in LNWR Blackbery Black which is a very understated, but rather classy livery.

The other loco that was running was No.1 ‘Wroxham Broad’. When I arrived at about 9.30 she was raising steam. No. 1 was originally an internal combustion powered loco but has been steam fired since the late 1990s.

I do like the ‘Caledonian Blue’ but I always think it’s strange that there’s no lining. Perhaps, I shouldn’t complain – unlined locos are easier to model!

Here she is passing the old Coltishall station building (just visible on the left of the photo) after passing under two standard gauge bridges.

The scenery on the Bure is lovely. This is Coltishall halt….

… and I’ve forgotten exactly where these trees are, but don’t they look beautiful with their spring green foliage.

The path alongside the line is well worth the effort. Some people take the train in one direction and walk back. On my visit one couple did a return journey by train, then a return journey by foot. That’s an 18 mile (29 km) walk!

Beyond the railway the Norfolk scenery is lovely. It’s an interesting time of year. The oil seed rape fields are in flower creating swathes of bright yellow. Yet there are fields of brown, bare earth, ridged up and planted with this years potatoes.

Plus you get a close up view of some interesting railway items too. Hopefully this coach is mid-repair rather than mid-decay 🙂

There’s plenty of wildlife too. I wasn’t really looking for animals but, less than 20 metres from the line, I saw a kestral hovering, hoping to catch some lunch.

The BVR even provides bird boxes for the local wildlife. A nice touch.

Regular readers will know I can’t resist books and I purchased this history of the BVR from the gift shop. It’s packed with interesting photos.

It’s always a pleasure to visit the BVR. They are operating with well organised, sensible, Covid-19 safetly precautions (which I’ve written about before so I wont repeat them).

I reckon all the steam railways in England could do with our support.

So get out an enjoy yourself, ride on the trains and fill your nostrils with the lovely odour of steam locomotive again….


  1. I wish I’d known, we were there on Saturday! Been up in Norfolk for the wekend. David


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