Past Railway Empires

By pastrlyempires

Mousehold Light Railway, Mousehold Heath, Norwich

A temporary 'works' route was laid down in 1918 to transport armaments and aircraft parts from the factories around the then Mousehold Heath airfield to Norwich Thorpe GER station.

The Mousehold Light Railway used the existing tram route from Newmarket Road to Cavalry Barracks line with an extension through the Heath, a short way east of the Pavilion on Gurney Road to near the junction with what is now Roundtree Way.

The rails for this line were recycled from the disused King Street tram-route and differed in construction by using wooden sleepers.

This Light Railway departed from the passenger tram route at the south end of Riverside Road, crossed the Thorpe road junction east of Foundry Bridge and entered the Thorpe Station forecourt by a spur line which ran up the northern side of the terminus from where goods were off-loaded onto the main line.

The goods wagons were hauled by two Government owned electric tractors, with BTH controllers and 38hp motors, to pull the heavy loads across Mousehold Heath. At the end of the First World War the line was discontinued and the tractors passed into the possession of Norwich Electric Tramcar Company who converted them to tram use. They were known as 'Dreadnoughts' due to their wartime role.

The rails and sleepers were not taken up until the 1930's and you can find as seen here evidence of the course of the railway, through the woods on Mousehold Heath.

Sign in or get an account to comment.