Remembering King’s Lynn electrification 25 years on

King's Lynn Railway Station Opening by HM The Queen Mother July 1992
HM Queen Mother with Sir Bob Reid
King's Lynn Railway Station Opening by HM The Queen Mother July 1992 HM Queen Mother with Sir Bob Reid

On July 28, 1992, hundreds gathered at Lynn’s station to see Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother mark the completion of electricification on the borough’s line.

King's Lynn Railway Station 
The first mast at KL Station in 1989 from LtoR, Network SouthEast Anglia Manager Peter Field, Mayor Les Daubney and Alan Pask

King's Lynn Railway Station The first mast at KL Station in 1989 from LtoR, Network SouthEast Anglia Manager Peter Field, Mayor Les Daubney and Alan Pask

The first fully electric trains ran on the following month, following a three-year project that cost £40 million to complete.

It was an advance that followed years of campaigning by politicians, business leaders, rail groups who worried that, without it, the very future of our rail link would be in doubt.

The huge growth of passenger numbers in recent years means that should not be an issue in the current fight for longer and more frequent services.

But the belief that better transport links would stimulate greater economic growth was as strong then as it is today.

In October 1987, this newspaper reported the launch of a West Norfolk Council electricification campaign document where future editor Malcolm Powell, then the vice-president of Lynn’s Chamber of Trade, said the area’s growth prospects would have been “merely a dream” just two years earlier.

But he added: “But it’s happening and we have to grasp it now. If not, we are going to go backwards.”

It may have been a slow journey, but the final destination was eventually reached. The lesson for us is to keep fighting on now.