Berney Arms Railway Station (Page 1 of 2)

The station at Berney Arms must be one of the remotest in England, standing as it does in the middle of the often windswept Halvergate marshes and two miles from any road access. To arrive there it is necessary to travel by foot, following the Weavers' Way from Halvergate or Great Yarmouth. Of course you could arrive by train, ensuring that you've informed the driver beforehand as stops are only made on request. The only other way there is to come by boat as many are inclined to do in the summer months.
Until the mid 1990s the station seemed timeless, still retaining the old wooden name board from Great Eastern days atop which a lamp was mounted. Against the sign stood a short metal runged ladder allowing access to the lamp. The platform was lined with old sleepers which had seen better days and its surface was shingled and rough. In the year 2000, the platform still looks the same but the rest has all gone, replaced by the standard Anglia Railways metal name board.
The Berney Arms line was part of Norfolk's first railway, the Yarmouth and Norwich, which opened via Reedham in May 1844. The station takes its name from the landowner, Thomas Trench Berney, who sold it to the railway company on condition that they provided a stopping place in perpetuity. The line itself still carries several trains a day between Norwich (Thorpe) and Great Yarmouth (Vauxhall), these alternating with others which take the alternative route through Acle. Both routes are now part of Wherry Lines Railways.
Further pictures of the station at Berney Arms including some showing the replacement "old style" sign can be found on the second page.

  Picture Gallery (Click on picture for larger view)
    Early View
1946 view of the station showing, left to right, regular passengers Mrs Williams (with pram), Mrs Runacles, Miss Violet Hewitt and Mrs Bailey at the carriage window.
(P.W.Browne, taken from the book "Berney Arms: Past & Present" courtesy of the author, Sheila Hutchinson.)
    Signal Box
This shot, taken circa 1950, shows Violet Hewitt, Eliza Hewitt and Albert Hewitt who lived at the nearby station houses. The signal box was only worked in the summer months and operated four signals, home and distant for each direction. It stayed in use until the 1960's and was moved to the Berney Arms pub for use as a storeroom in 1964.
(courtesy Sheila Hutchinson).
    Railway Gangers
This picture of the railway gang was taken circa 1920. Billy Runacles, centre and Thomas Edward Hewitt, right, both lived at Berney Arms.
(Taken from the book "Berney Arms: Past & Present" courtesy of the author, Sheila Hutchinson.)
    Holiday train to Yarmouth
D16/3 4-4-0 62611 enters the station en-route to Great Yarmouth.
(August 1954)
    Lighting the Lamps
An atmospheric shot taken in 1953, showing station mistress Violet Mace lighting the oil lamp on the station platform.
(Taken from the book "Berney Arms: Past & Present" courtesy of the author, Sheila Hutchinson.)
    Station Cottages
The station cottages were built around the same time as the railway in the 1840's. One of the rooms was used as the Post Office, rail ticket office and waiting room. The shot was taken in March 1969 shortly before demolition.
(Taken from the book "Berney Arms: Past & Present" courtesy of the author, Sheila Hutchinson.)
    Outing to Berney Arms
On a winter day during 1984, members of Gt. Yarmouth 18Plus club arrive at Berney Arms station.
(November 1984)
    Rush Hour
The station waits patiently in isolation for the crowds to arrive.
(March 1989)
The solitude of the location can clearly be seen in this view showing the station isolated amidst the marshes. (March 1989)
    Springtime at Berney Arms
On a glorious spring morning the early train departs for Norwich having just dropped off its one and only passenger - Me! (March 1989)
    How much longer do I have to wait?
The earlier wooden station board, ladder and lamp can clearly be seen in this earlier view.
(February 1991)
    Lighting the lamp?
Another view of the old signboard topped by the lamp, and the metal ladder leaning against it.
(April 21st 1991)
    East towards Great Yarmouth
The single track line disappears straight on into the distance across the marshes. The platform which can accommodate two coaches still has the rough appearance of yesteryear although the modern station sign spoils the effect.
(July 23rd 2000)
Once again looking East, this time from the other side of the tracks the old sleepers used as platform edging can clearly be seen.
(July 23rd 2000)
    West towards Reedham and Norwich
The Weavers' Way long distance footpath can be seen crossing the tracks at the gates along the line together with the foot crossing for passengers just beyond the platform end. In the distance the 11.20am Great Yarmouth to Norwich train can be seen departing.
(July 23rd 2000)
    Weavers' Way gated crossing
The walkers crossing gate can be seen on the left along with the farm vehicle access gate.
(July 23rd 2000)
    Station Sign 2000
This sign was erected by the Regional Railways business unit of British Rail prior to BR's privatisation and the franchise passing to Anglia Railways.
(July 23rd 2000)
    Summer 2001
Sheila and Paul Hutchinson await the return train to Reedham on an unexpectedly very wet and windy summer afternoon. The sign has been replaced once again for one with the new Wherry Lines colours.
(August 12th 2001)
    Ticket to Berney Arms
Evidence of the journey.
(July 23rd 2000)
    More pictures of the Railway at Berney Arms - Page 2