The Wymondham to Forncett railway was known as the “Swedes & Swimmers” from the staple diet of the navvies who built it. Swedes are self evident; “swimmers” were the local Norfolk name – for dumplings!
From Wymondham ran a 6 3/4 mile branch line to the former Eastern Union line at Forncett, Ashwellthorpe being the only intermediate station. This was a Great Eastern Railway (GER) branch line, construction started in April 1880 and opened on 2nd May 1881 to afford a relief route between East Suffolk and Norfolk and so reduce the congestion around Norwich. Double track, it normally carried some 7 passenger trains a day each way. For some years around the turn of the century one included a through portion from London Liverpool Street to Wells. Freight usage under the GER was light, despite the purpose of the branch and was limited to Ipswich to Peterborough and Beccles to Wells. In World War 1 it had heavy military traffic, but from 10th September 1939 passenger services were suspended.and never reinstated. During World War 2 the cuttings at Hapton were used to shelter ammunition trains destined for the US bomber bases. Freight continued until 4th August 1951. The track was lifted in February 1952.