31. FAKENHAM EAST STATION
The Dereham & Fakenham Line opened in 1849 and was belatedly joined by the Wells & Fakenham Railway in 1862. After further mergers it became the Great Eastern Railway later again to merge with others to become the LNER. Getting the line to Fakenham had been so costly that to save money Fakenham East Station was largely built of wood.
Accidents were not unknown, The Norfolk News of 17th October 1857 reported:
FAKENHAM RAILWAY ACCIDENT...
At the very spot where little more than a fortnight since Hubbard unhappily lost his life in an effort to rescue a bullock from destruction, 12 sheep, the property of
F Gardner, Esq., of Ryburgh were run over and killed by the train due at Fakenham at 5.25.
IN 1931 A REPORT READ...
"While the 9.06 a.m. passenger train, Wells-on-Sea to Norwich, was standing at the bay platform at Fakenham Station, the 8.17 a.m. passenger train, Norwich to Wells-on-Sea, collided head-on with it. I regret to report that one passenger in the stationary train was killed. Twelve passengers and three of the Company's servants were injured."
On the 21st April 1979, the Fakenham Flyer, a special rail tour organised by the Wymondham & Dereham Rail Action Committee and the newly-formed Fakenham and Dereham Railway Society, was the first passenger train at Fakenham since its closure to passengers almost 15 years earlier.
Sadly it was also its last. The following year the line, still in use for freight, closed permanently.
The station is now the site of retirement bungalows at Fayregreen on Norwich Road.
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Plaque 32 can be found on the Weighing Room Door at Fakenham Racecourse.