Great Yarmouth railway station

Great Yarmouth railway station (originally Yarmouth Vauxhall) is one of two eastern termini of the Wherry Lines in the East of England, serving the seaside town of Great Yarmouth, Norfolk. The other terminus at the eastern end of the lines is Lowestoft, and the western terminus to which all trains run is Norwich.

Great Yarmouth
National Rail
Great Yarmouth (formerly 'Vauxhall') station, 1993 geograph-3579907-by-Ben-Brooksbank.jpg
Great Yarmouth railway station in 1993
General information
LocationGreat Yarmouth, Great Yarmouth
Coordinates52°36′42″N 1°43′15″E / 52.6118°N 1.7207°E / 52.6118; 1.7207Coordinates: 52°36′42″N 1°43′15″E / 52.6118°N 1.7207°E / 52.6118; 1.7207
Grid referenceTG519080
Managed byGreater Anglia
Platforms3 (numbered 2, 3 and 4)
Other information
Station codeGYM
ClassificationDfT category C2
Original companyYarmouth and Norwich Railway
Pre-groupingGreat Eastern Railway
Post-groupingLondon and North Eastern Railway
Key dates
1 May 1844 (1844-05-01)Opened as Yarmouth Vauxhall
?Renamed Yarmouth
16 May 1989Renamed Great Yarmouth
2016/17Decrease 0.399 million
2017/18Decrease 0.385 million
2018/19Decrease 0.381 million
2019/20Decrease 0.344 million
2020/21Decrease 0.117 million
Passenger statistics from the Office of Rail and Road

Trains from Great Yarmouth run to Norwich via one of two routes: either via Acle, the more regularly used line, or via Reedham. Via Acle, Great Yarmouth is 18 miles 29 chains (29.6 km) down the line from Norwich, and via Reedham it is 20 miles 45 chains (33.1 km).

The station is currently managed by Greater Anglia, which also operates all of the trains that call. Off-peak there is one train per hour to Norwich, with the service increasing in frequency during peak times.


Yarmouth VauxhallEdit

The Bill for the Yarmouth and Norwich Railway (Y&NR) received Royal Assent on 18 June 1842. Work started on the line in April 1843 and the line and its stations were opened on 1 May 1844. Great Yarmouth station was originally named Yarmouth Vauxhall.[1] The Y&NR line to Norwich through Reedham was the first railway in the county to open.[2]

On 30 June 1845 a Bill authorising the amalgamation of the Yarmouth & Norwich Railway with the Norwich & Brandon Railway came into effect and Yarmouth Vauxhall station became a Norfolk Railway asset.[1][3]

The Eastern Counties Railway (ECR) and its rival the Eastern Union Railway (EUR) were both sizing up the NR to acquire and expand their railway empire. The ECR trumped the EUR by taking over the NR, including Yarmouth-Vauxhall Station on 8 May 1848.

By the 1860s the railways in East Anglia were in financial trouble, and most were leased to the Eastern Counties Railway, which wished to amalgamate formally but could not obtain government agreement for this until an Act of Parliament on 7 August 1862, when the Great Eastern Railway (GER) was formed by the amalgamation. Actually, Yarmouth-Vauxhall became a GER station on 1 July 1862 when the GER took over the ECR and the EUR before the Bill received the Royal Assent.[4][4]

Two decades into GER ownership the latter decided to build a shorter route between Yarmouth Vauxhall to Norwich Thorpe. Work started in the early-1880s. The GER started the new line about 1 mile west of Yarmouth Vauxhall and the junction was named Breydon. The 1st part of the new line opened on 1 March 1883 as far as the 1st station west of Yarmouth Vauxhall called Acle.

The system settled down for the next 4 decades, apart from the disruption of First World War. The difficult economic circumstances that existed after World War 1 led the Government to pass the Railways Act 1921 which led to the creation of the Big Four. The GER amalgamated with several other companies to form the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER). Yarmouth Vauxhall became a LNER station on 1 January 1923.

In May 1943, the station was badly damaged during an air raid, resulting in the upper floor of the passenger station needing to be demolished. Train services, however, operated throughout this period.[5] The remains of the original station building were removed, and the station rebuilt, in 1960.[6]

On nationalisation in 1948 the station and its services became part of the Eastern Region of British Railways. The station name was simplified to Yarmouth by BR at some point between 1953 and 1962.[1]

Before rail closures of the 1950s and the later Beeching Axe the station was the largest of three major railway stations in the town.[7] The three stations had been linked together since 1882 by the Yarmouth Union Railway.[8]

Yarmouth Vauxhall, named Great Yarmouth since 16 May 1989, is the only station to remain open.[9] There used to be large sidings and an engine shed before they were demolished to make way for the new Asda superstore and bypass.

On privatisation the station and its services were transferred to Anglia Railways, which operated it until April 2004 when National Express East Anglia won the replacement franchise, operating under the brand name 'one' until February 2008. From February 2012 Abellio Greater Anglia took over operating the franchise.

The town was also formerly served by the following stations:

Yarmouth BeachEdit

Yarmouth Beach was located on Nelson Road and was owned by M&GN who ran services up the Norfolk coast to Melton Constable and Peterborough. It was closed in 1959 and is now a coach station although plans exist to turn the area into offices.[10]

Yarmouth South TownEdit

Yarmouth South Town was owned by the Great Eastern Railway but also served as the terminus for the Norfolk and Suffolk Joint Railway which ran services through Gorleston-on-Sea and Lowestoft to join with the current East Suffolk Line for a mainline service to London. It was closed in 1970.[11]

Newtown HaltEdit

Newtown Halt was located on Salisbury Road and was owned by the M&GN. It opened in 1933 and closed in 1959.[12][13]


Summer 1959Edit

With the closure of Yarmouth Beach station in early 1959, Vauxhall became the focus of the summer Saturday traffic for Great Yarmouth. The station had always had a number of summer Saturday trains up to this point but this hike in numbers had led to some re-modelling of the station layout - platform lengthening and changes to carriage stabling - in order to cope with the additional traffic.

A typical summer Saturday saw an additional 24 timetabled passenger trains from locations including York, Derby, Sheffield, Manchester, Leicester, and Sunderland. In addition, on 25 July 1959 there were an extra eight holiday relief workings that ran. Some local workings were cancelled to cope with this influx of trains, but it indicates the significant numbers of UK holiday makers still travelling by train and still holidaying in Great Yarmouth at this time. [14]


There is one train each hour between Great Yarmouth and Norwich, with additional services during the morning and evening peaks. Most trains run via Acle, although there are still a number that run via Reedham. Sunday services tend to be hourly and, up to 1600, every other service runs via Reedham.[15]

All services are operated by Greater Anglia.[16]

There are proposals to run a wider variety of direct services from Yarmouth to London Liverpool Street, Stansted Airport, and Peterborough from 2025.[17]

Carriage sidingsEdit

The carriage sidings at Great Yarmouth.

New sidings were provided at the western end of the station to cope with the additional services operating into the station following the closure of the M&GN system. It is a crescent-shaped site between the A47 road and Wherryman's Way at the northernmost point of the River Yare about 14 mi (400 m) northwest of Great Yarmouth station. It had fallen out of use in the 1980s when the Norwich Crown Point depot was built.[18][19]

In 2010 the out-of-use sidings were purchased by Gt Yarmouth Borough Council, intended for use as a freight terminal despite the lack of rail connection to the town's port. It was hoped that 10,000 tonnes of sugar cane per week would be carried from Yarmouth to Cantley. The need to use a lorry shuttle between the docks and the rail yard, coupled to a £3.2 million quote for replacing the sidings at Cantley saw the plan dropped.[20]

In May 2020, Eastern Rail Services commenced a lease with Norfolk County Council and Network Rail for Yarmouth Vauxhall sidings. Managing director James Steward said the siding matched ERS' requirement for an East Anglian site to base its rolling stock.[18] Following extensive de-vegetation works, Direct Rail Services 37402 became the first locomotive in 19 years to run into the sidings on 26 May 2020, followed the next day by it delivering five former Abellio Greater Anglia Mark 3 coaches for storage.[18][21] On 6 July 2020 ERS was authorised a license exemption permitting them to operate trains within the site[22]

Class 08 08762, owned by Eastern Rail Services' sister company RMS Locotec, was delivered by road from Heaton TMD on 16 June 2020 to take up shunting duties on site.[23]

Recent developmentsEdit

A campaign was launched in 2010 to bring Great Yarmouth Station up-to-date, called the "Fix Great Yarmouth Station" campaign.[24][25] The project attracted more than 3,000 pledges of support.[26]

During 2012 Great Yarmouth Community Trust, in partnership with Greater Anglia, provided a welcoming and information service at the station for incoming holidaymakers and tourists.[27] This service was operated as 'Welcome Host' and continued in 2013. The service was run on a voluntary basis.

In 2017, signalling and track changes saw Platform 1 closed and lifted, reducing the number of operational platforms at the station to three.[28]

In 2018 it was announced that the station would benefit from £710,000 of investment, redeveloping the entrance and surrounding areas, with the work being funded by the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership's Growth Deal.[29] The project completed in November 2018.[30]



  1. ^ a b c Butt, R.V.J. (1995). The Directory of Railway Stations. Yeovil: Patrick Stephens Ltd. p. 256. ISBN 1-85260-508-1. R508.
  2. ^ Body, Geoffrey (1986). Railways of the Eastern Region. Vol. 1, Southern operating area. Wellingborough: Patrick Stephens. p. 124. ISBN 9780850597127.
  3. ^ Allen 1956, p. [page needed].
  4. ^ Allen 1956, p. 46.
  5. ^ Dow, George (1947). The First Railway in Norfolk (Second ed.). LNER. p. 29.
  6. ^ "Yarmouth Vauxhall Railway Station".
  7. ^ Great Yarmouth's Rail Connections Archived May 21, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  8. ^ "Great Yarmouth's Rail Connections".
  9. ^ Butt 1995, pp. 256, 109
  10. ^ Yarmouth Beach Railway Station
  11. ^ Yarmouth South Town Railway Station
  12. ^ Adderson, R.; Kenworthy, G. (2007). Melton Constable to Yarmouth Beach. Midhurst, West Sussex: Middleton Press. pp. Plate XXI. ISBN 978-1-906008-03-1.
  13. ^ Yarmouth Newtown Halt
  14. ^ Kenworthy, Graham (January 2009). "Summer Saturday services at Yarmouth Vauxhall in 1959". Great Eastern Railway Society Journal. 137: 24–27.
  15. ^ Greater Anglia, Great Yarmouth
  16. ^ Great Yarmouth Train Station
  17. ^ Hickey, Daniel (26 February 2019). "Great Yarmouth to Stansted rail link "unlikely" until at least 2025". Great Yarmouth Mercury.
  18. ^ a b c Bumfrey, Stephen; Steward, James (29 May 2020). Afternoons on BBC Radio Norfolk. BBC Sounds. Event occurs at 2h46m. Retrieved 21 June 2020.{{cite AV media}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  19. ^ Intelligence Railway Gazette International December 1982 page 968
  20. ^ Developments at Great Yarmouth
  21. ^ New us for revitalised Yarmouth sidings Rail issue 907 17 June 2020 page 24
  22. ^ "Eastern Rail Services Limited LMD licence exemption | Office of Rail and Road" (PDF).
  23. ^ 08762 undergoes maintenance and cab refurbishment at Great Yarmouth
  24. ^[dead link]
  25. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 30 January 2010. Retrieved 29 April 2010.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  26. ^ "Log into Facebook | Facebook". Facebook. {{cite web}}: Cite uses generic title (help)
  27. ^ Clapham, Lucy (21 June 2012). "Friendly faces all aboard to greet visitors". Great Yarmouth Mercury.
  28. ^ Ryan, George (21 September 2017). "Platform to be removed from Great Yarmouth train station as part of signals upgrade". Great Yarmouth Mercury.
  29. ^ Norton, Joseph (21 November 2018). "First look at Great Yarmouth train station's new £710,000 entrance". Eastern Daily Press.
  30. ^ "Great Yarmouth station forecourt transformation complete". 21 November 2018.
  • Allen, Cecil J. (1956) [1955]. The Great Eastern Railway (2nd ed.). Hampton Court: Ian Allan.

External linksEdit

Preceding station   National Rail Following station
Acle   Greater Anglia
Wherry Lines
(via Acle)
Berney Arms   Greater Anglia
Wherry Lines
(via Reedham)