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Midland & Great Northern

(Note: Numbers in brackets refer to specific references)

The line was created by the merger of a number of smaller concerns and provided a line linking the Midlands with the East Coast. The constituents were the Eastern and Midlands (formed by the merger of the Yarmouth and North Norfolk and the Lynn and Fakenham in the 1880's), the Bourne and Lynn Railway and the Peterborough, Lynn, and Sutton Bridge Railway. The administration of the resulting M&GN was dealt with by a committee of Midland Railway and Great Northern Railway staff set up in 1893. Following the grouping of 1923 the M&GN line became a joint LNER/LMS operation and the committee continued to administer the system until 1948. The M&GN connected with the MR at Bourne in Lincolnshire and with the GNR at Peterborough on the East Coast Main Line. In Norfolk the line linked the towns of Peterborough, Kings Lyn, Norwich and Yarmouth. The M&GN Committee was also involved in another joint operation, the Norfolk and Suffolk Joint Railways Committee, operated jointly with the Great Eastern Railway. This latter company connected Yarmouth to Lowestoft via a coastal line and North Walsham to Cromer. As far as I am aware this unusual joint-joint company did not operate its own rolling stock.

The ports of Yarmouth and Lowestoft provided a considerable traffic in fish and thanks to the agricultural nature of the area served there were regular cattle trains operating to feed the abattoirs in the towns. Goods inward included coal and the engineering products, notably agricultural machinery, of the Midlands. The M&GN was the longest joint line in the country and although only about a third of its 186 miles was double tracked although the company had a reputation for efficient single line working. Most of the M&GN network duplicated services offered by the Great Eastern Railway system and the line was closed in 1959.

Most M&GN goods rolling stock was built to typical Midland designs but some was supplied by the GNR. The goods stock was divided between the LMS and the LNER in 1936 but service stock and some brake vans continued in M&GN livery.

M&GN goods stock was dark grey with white lettering, company initials used were M & G N. Passenger gas tank trucks were painted black or very dark grey, with M & G N about 6 inches high on the side of the tanks and the word GAS about six inches high toward the left of the solebar. Passenger stock was in varnished teak with white roofs and I believe some non passenger coaching stock was painted a dark chocolate brown.

Fig ___ M&GN

M and GN


Scenes from the Midland & Great Northern Joint Railway - by Ron Clarke- published by Moorland of Hartingdon in 1978 - Photo album type book of the M&GN.

A Short History of the Midland & Great Northern Junction Railway by Ron Clarke - Goose & Son of Norwich, 1967. A detailed history of the line with some illustrations and a map of the system.

Clubs & Societies:

Midland & Great Northern Society

Available Models

Graham Hughes Kits 20, MacKelvie Road, Lamlash, Isle of Arran Strathclyde KA27 8NP

Mr. Hughes offers white metal kits (including chassis) of the MR 3 plank 8 ton wagon and the 5 plank open wagons. Both of these designs were supplied by the MR to the M&GN.


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