May 18 2013 Latest news:
By DONNA-LOUISE BISHOP
Thursday, August 30, 2012
A project to bring to life the dream to take trains back into the heart of Holt has been given a major boost.
Progress has been made towards securing the land necessary to complete the Norfolk Orbital Railway, taking North Norfolk Railway’s present station at High Kelling into and through Holt - one of the most difficult parts of the route.
And now the group behind the project has launched a new appeal to help raise the funds needed to acquire the necessary land.
A successful tourist attraction, the plan is to extend the North Norfolk Railway along the bypass and near to the site of Holt’s original station at Station Road.
Ultimately the team hopes to restore the line beyond Holt, through Melton Constable and Fakenham to join the Mid Norfolk Railway to Dereham and Wymondham, with existing Network Rail lines, to eventually create the Norfolk Orbital Railway.
David Bill, a director of the Norfolk Orbital Railway and member of the Midland and Great North Society, said the appeal would be their best and last chance to see the railway extended westwards.
He said: “We need to grab this opportunity.”
The Melton Constable Trust has already successfully negotiated buying key sections of the route required from both private and public owners and Mr Bill said buying the land was the vital first stage.
The trust has also been accepted into challenge fund the Big Give Christmas Challenge 2012 - an annual funding event where online donations from the public will be matched by a combination of supporters and a Big Give Charity Champion.
The aim is to raise £15,000 in pledges, which will then be doubled up by the Big Give Charity Champion to £30,000.
Norfolk County Council has decided in principle that it is prepared to sell its part of the land and the estimated cost of the total land is between £200,000 and £250,000.
The group said if the appeal was successful it would raise 25pc of the funds needed to secure the land to Holt and they had already raised £15,000 and covered the legal costs involved in the agreement with the private owners. Around £120,000 is needed by December 1.
● For full details of the challenge or to make a pledge before the deadline date of October 14 visit http://new.thebiggive.org.uk/pledge/themeltonconstabletrust.
● For more information about the Norfolk Orbital Railway visit www.norfolk-orbital-railway.co.uk, ring 01263 740044 or email firstname.lastname@example.org