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Fresh calls for community to help bring the railway back to Fakenham

PUBLISHED: 06:30 10 February 2018 | UPDATED: 12:56 10 February 2018

Transport -- Trains

Removing the railway line at Fakenham West Station

Dated -- 19 August 1959

Photograph -- c5427

Transport -- Trains Removing the railway line at Fakenham West Station Dated -- 19 August 1959 Photograph -- c5427

Ambitious plans to bring the railway back to Fakenham remain on track as fresh calls are made for the community to be involved in the exciting scheme.

The Fakenham Railway back when it was in use. Picture: FAKENHAM COMMUNITY ARCHIVE. The Fakenham Railway back when it was in use. Picture: FAKENHAM COMMUNITY ARCHIVE.

It comes following an online appeal from the Norfolk Orbital Railway project, urging people to come forward with constructive views to help make the dream a reality.

In its heyday, Norfolk’s railways brought life to the county’s countryside for tourists and commuters alike. But after so much of it was hacked away in the 1950s and 1960s, are plans to restore the link just a pipe dream?

Although a significant way off, project officer Paul Young explained why he was confident that one day it would happen.

He said: “Around 95 per cent of people who follow our Facebook page are keen to see the railway back in place. This is a cross section of people, not just rail enthusiasts.

Paul Young, project manager for the Melton Constable Trust. Picture: MELTON CONSTABLE TRUST. Paul Young, project manager for the Melton Constable Trust. Picture: MELTON CONSTABLE TRUST.

“It’s so important we have community involvement. There are lots of professional people out there and interesting people who have information and views which can help. Now we need to get a view of what people really want. It’s certainly doable and it can happen.”

The aim is to lay down new lines and connect preservation railways with the main network. If successful, a circular route taking in Norwich, Cromer, Sheringham, Fakenham, Dereham and Wymondham, would be created.

A major part of the project involves bringing trains back to Fakenham, restoring the 20 mile bridge between two popular heritage railways – The North Norfolk Railway station at Holt and the Mid-Norfolk Railway (MNR) station at County School, north of Dereham.

The ultimate aim is to
acquire more of the old track bed and to link up with the MNR
so that the railway can be
rebuilt to Fakenham.

Mr Young added: “We will be following the progress at the MNR with a great deal of interest.

“Using the former route to Fakenham on paper is easy enough however is it the most practical? We need solutions on how this can work.”

He added that they were also working with existing landowners.

Suggestions can be left via the contacts form on the website www.norfolk-orbital-railway.
co.uk.

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