More details revealed on replacement for beloved coastal railway

The Wells Harbour Railway is being replaced by an electric bus from 2022. 

The Wells Harbour Railway is being replaced by an electric bus from 2022. - Credit: Supplied by Holkham Estate

Plans showing exactly how the replacement for a beloved coastal railway will work have been given the green light.

The Holkham Estate has seen detailed plans approved for its new, fully-electric shuttle bus service, which is set to open later this year.

The Wells Harbour Railway. Picture: Ian Burt

The Wells Harbour Railway. Picture: Ian Burt - Credit: Ian Burt

It will replace the former Wells Harbour Railway, which closed in September, and it set to travel along Beach Road to Pinewood Holiday Park - linking the town centre and the seaside.

The land is owned by the Holkham Estate, with the fully electric bus being the first of its kind in the UK.

Plans include a new access to link Beach Road with an existing private track, leading down to a proposed turning area at the town’s football club. The route will see the bus continue along Beach Road to the roundabout at Wells Beach car park.

The access point will be kept secure by hydraulic-assisted bollards and a rising boom barrier.

The construction of a proposed roundabout on Beach Road in Wells has been postponed. Picture: Google

Beach Road in Wells - Credit: Archant

The plans state the bus' turning area will be in place of existing car parking spaces, which are being proposed to be relocated. As well as a new gated pedestrian access at the club for picking up and dropping off passengers.

There are also plans for a footpath to run along the old train track route between the new access onto Beach Road and the existing entrance to the football club.

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Back in February, Holkham announced in a blog post that it was aiming for the bus to be operational during June and before the school summer holidays begin in July.

In the post on social media, Holkham said timetables and ticket details would be released by the end of May, but now plan to share information during the Queen's Jubilee week. 

An open-top bus will join the electric bus on the busiest summer days. 

An open-top bus will join the electric bus on the busiest summer days. - Credit: Supplied by the Holkham Estate

During the busiest days of the summer, the electric bus will be joined by a vintage open-top bus.

Until last year, the much-loved miniature railway ran from the Wells Quay to Pinewoods Holiday Park - having been established in 1976.

Gary and Alison Brecknell ran the railway for 21 years and it was loved by locals and tourists alike. The train was packed up and taken away last November.

A petition to save it had gained more than 50,000 signatures.

To view full details, visit North Norfolk District Council's planning portal and search for reference PF/22/0378.