Railway link plans boosted
Railway enthusiasts keen to see the mainline Bittern Line and the heritage Poppy Line linked at Sheringham have cleared their penultimate hurdle.
Railway enthusiasts keen to see the mainline Bittern Line and the herit-age Poppy Line linked at Sheringham have cleared a hurdle.
The board of the North Norfolk Railway met on Saturday to give the nod to the reinstatement plans, which would see the bridging of a 100m gap between the two services.
The link-up would enable tourists to visit on board special steam trains.
Now that the board has said yes, contracts can be finalised to achieve the various necessary work prog-rammes. It is only the final funding push which remains to be achieved, with another �22,000 needed to reach the final appeal target of �140,000.
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The tramway-style crossing, cut by the Beeching branch line axe in the 1960s, would be used on average once or twice a month for charter trains from all over the country. It could be ready for an opening ceremony on March 11, if all goes to plan.
Plans are afoot for the National Railway Museum's steam locomotive Oliver Cromwell to head the first train over the road.
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Project director Steven Ashling said: "This is tremendous news for the railway, for the town's business-es, and for all the many people who have given so generously to turn this link from a dream into reality."
The contract for EDF to move electricity cables has already been let, and work is expected to be carried out in October. The plan is for all the other work to begin towards the end of January, with the road closed for a few days in February to allow the actual crossing to be laid.
Mr Ashling said that before the roadway was closed, a concrete path would give unobstructed pedestrian access to and from the car park, the coast road and Station Road.
Sheringham businesses are being urged to help close the funding gap.
Send donations to The Crossing Appeal, North Norfolk Railway plc, Sheringham Station NR26 8RA, with cheques to North Norfolk Railway.