I often get asked questions about the 'Joint' by newspaper reporters, television journalists and interested people, and I always say 'If I don't know then I probably know someone who does'. This means that I can act as a sort of Clearing House for M&GN matters. If you have a query not included on the frequently asked questions contact me.
WHAT WAS THE M&GN? The Midland & Great Northern Railways Joint Committee was a cross-country line connecting Yarmouth, Norwich and Cromer with King's Lynn, Peterborough, Spalding and Bourne, and through them London, the Midlands and the North.
WHEN DID IT EXIST? The joint partners took over the former Eastern & Midlands Railway from 1 July 1893. The M&GN remained independent after the Grouping in 1923, but control was ceded to the LNER in 1936. Most of the railway was closed in 1959.
HOW BIG WAS IT? The usual length quoted is just over 183 miles, about 60% of it single line. There were 59 passenger stations, including 3 termini, with access to 2 others. A further 9 stations were owned jointly with the GER on the Norfolk & Suffolk Joint Railway. Map
HOW MANY LOCOMOTIVES? The number varied, but after 1917 stayed for some time at 98 engines; 95 on the capital list and three duplicates Nos.9A, 16A and 20A, a total of 15 Class A 4-4-0s, 3 Class A Tank 4-4-2Ts, 2 Class B 4-4-0Ts, 40 Class C 4-4-0s, 16 Class D 0-6-0s, 12 Class Da 0-6-0s, 9 Shunting 0-6-0Ts and one 0-6-0ST. Locomotive page
HOW MUCH ROLLING STOCK? This also varied, but there were usually around 225 passenger vehicles, and about 650 wagons, although this total steadily decreased as time went on. The passenger stock was a mixture of Great Northern, Midland and ex-Eastern & Midlands carriages, although the Midland vehicles had nearly all been replaced with GN types by 1920. Rolling Stock page.
WHAT COLOUR WERE THEY PAINTED? Most locomotives were painted light brown, with a dark red-brown below the footplate and on the wheels. Lining was in black and yellow. After 1922, goods engines were painted dark brown, followed by the passenger engines in 1929. Lining was a single yellow line. The LNER painted them black. Passenger carriages were varnished teak, or painted and grained to look like teak. Goods wagons were brown oxide, lettered in white, except the brake vans which were lettered in yellow. Service stock was red oxide. Livery page
WHAT WAS THE SIGNALLING LIKE? The M&GN used mostly the GN centre-balanced tumbler or 'somersault' signals, from 1915 on concrete posts. The signal boxes were a mixture of Midland, Great Northern, ex-Eastern & Midlands and the M&GN's own designs. The long single line sections were controlled by Tyers Electric Tablet system, and automatic tablet exchangers to the design of Mr Whittaker on the Somerset & Dorset Joint were installed in 1906/07. Signalling Page
WHERE CAN I SEE THE M&GN TODAY? There are considerable remains of the railway spread over Norfolk and Lincolnshire, but a flavour of the M&GN can be experienced on the North Norfolk Railway between Sheringham and Holt. Some M&GN equipment is preserved there by the M&GN Preservation Society.
WHERE CAN I GET PHOTOS AND DRAWINGS? The source of all things historical about the M&GN, including drawings, photos, reminiscences and detailed analyses of stations, locos and rolling stock is the M&GN Circle. The M&GN Circle Bulletin is published monthly.Back