Railway hires new staff member to 'ensure future development'

Mid-Norfolk Railway (MNR), which runs between Dereham and Wymondham Abbey, has appointed Damian John as the first full-time permanent way supervisor.

Mid-Norfolk Railway (MNR), which runs between Dereham and Wymondham Abbey, has appointed Damian John as the first full-time permanent way supervisor. - Credit: Mid-Norfolk Railway

A much-loved heritage railway has hired a third new staff member to "ensure its future development".

Mid-Norfolk Railway (MNR), which runs between Dereham and Wymondham Abbey, has appointed Damian John as the first full-time permanent way supervisor.

Mid-Norfolk Railway (MNR), which runs between Dereham and Wymondham Abbey, has appointed Damian John as the first full-time permanent way supervisor. - Credit: Mid-Norfolk Railway

Mid-Norfolk Railway (MNR), which runs between Dereham and Wymondham Abbey, has appointed Damian John as the first full-time permanent way supervisor.

Mr John will be responsible for the day-to-day maintenance of the railway’s track system.

Charlie Robinson, chairman of the Mid-Norfolk Railway Preservation Trust, which owns and runs the railway said: “We are delighted to welcome Damian to the railway as a full-time staff member.

George Saville, left, and Charlie Robinson at the Mid Norfolk Railway. Picture: Ian Burt

George Saville, left, and Charlie Robinson at the Mid Norfolk Railway. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

"His appointment is the last in this round of full-time appointments that the railway’s Trust Council has decided was needed to ensure the future development of the railway."


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Prior to his new appointment, Mr John has worked for several specialist railway contractors on Network Rail projects, including of Essex based RCU Solutions and Mowlem Railways, where he worked on the construction of HS1.

Speaking about his new role at the MNR, Mr John said: “As the newly appointed P Way Supervisor I feel privileged to be part of the ongoing planned works and upgrades. This is a wonderful opportunity to ensure the longevity and continued history of this exciting rail system, and to work with such enthusiastic volunteers.”

Mid-Norfolk Railways special events trains for summer 2020 have been cancelled. Picture: Ian Burt

Mid-Norfolk Railways special events trains for summer 2020 have been cancelled. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: IAN BURT

In the last two months, the railway has hired three new staff members including Mark Sexton as its first traction and rolling stock manager and Tony Dunford as head of refurbishment.

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Mr Robinson said: “Over the last 25 years the MNR railway has grown from a small band of pioneers to the million-pound business that operates today.

"To maintain ongoing development of the railway we have decided this requires a small number of full-time staff to work with our large numbers of volunteers.

“The current Covid-19 situation is clearly a difficult time for all, but these new posts will maintain our progress and are in the interests of the long term future of the railway.”

  • MNR is always looking for more volunteers and anyone wishing to join should contact volunteer co-ordinator, Steve Tweed, by emailing steve.tweed@mnr.org.uk.

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