remote station

Berney Arms railway station

Berney Arms railway station is a railway station serving the remote settlement of Berney Arms in the English county of Norfolk. The station is located in Halvergate Marshes and the area is accessible only on foot, by rail or by boat. The nearest road is 3½ miles away. The station is the most remote station in Norfolk, and one of the most remote in England; trains stop at Berney Arms only on request. As there is no lighting on the station, trains stop only during daylight hours. The station is unstaffed. The station was opened in 1844 as part of the Yarmouth and Norwich Railway. Local landowner Thomas Trench Berney sold the land to the railway company on condition that a station be built. A few years later, the railway company stopped serving the station, saying that there had been no agreement to actually serve the railway station that they agreed to build. After lengthy legal proceedings, it was agreed to serve the station in perpetuity. Or at least this is the accepted "story." There is however no proof of any legally binding obligation to keep the station open. During the 1980s British Rail wanted to close the line between Reedham and Great Yarmouth, with the associated closure of the station. Local opposition resulted in the plan being withdrawn.

The line on which Berney Arms station is situated is now unlikely to be closed, as it has a new purpose. As the more direct line between Brundall and Yarmouth has been singled, the line via Berney Arms (itself single tracked) combines with the direct line to provide a double track between Norwich and Yarmouth. "Express" trains between Yarmouth and Norwich take this longer route, and this is the reason why these apparently express trains in fact take much the same time as the stopping trains (via Acle).

According to one source , the number of trains serving Berney Arms has been much reduced over the last fifty years. In April 1961, there were a minimum of eleven services daily. The basic winter service now has just three daily stops from Monday to Saturday. In summer, with longer daylight hours, one extra stop is usually scheduled in the early evening. Trains are more frequent on Sundays all year round.

The line is promoted as part of the Wherry Lines service operated by National Express East Anglia. Services use Class 153, Class 156 or Class 170 diesel multiple units.

RSPB Berney Marshes and Breydon Water nature reserves are located in the vicinity of the station. The public house, from which the station takes its name, is still functional - normally daily in the summer, and at weekends only in the winter. The pub is about 600 metres from the station.

A post office called Berney Arms Station opened in 1898 but closed in 1967.

Further reading

  • Berney Arms Station featured in an article entitled "Unlikely Survival" in The Railway Magazine, Apr 1984, pp.132-133.
  • An article on the history and current use of the station appeared in Hidden Europe Magazine, Nov 2006 (Issue 11), pp.10-11.

External links


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