Bittern Line plans to go green

Norfolk's Bittern Line could be about to show the world the way forward in making train travel the greenest form of public transport around.Commuters and tourist taking the train between Norwich, North Walsham, Cromer and Sheringham may soon be joined by green technology experts and rail bosses from across the globe as the line's stations are made carbon neutral in a ground-breaking project.

Norfolk's Bittern Line could be about to show the world the way forward in making train travel the greenest form of public transport around.

Commuters and tourist taking the train between Norwich, North Walsham, Cromer and Sheringham may soon be joined by green technology experts and rail bosses from across the globe as the line's stations are made carbon neutral in a ground-breaking project.

It is thought the scheme would be a world first.

And CRed, the carbon reduction campaign based at UEA in Norwich, has welcomed the idea, saying it should be the first step in achieving a carbon neutral railway system within a decade.

Carbon neutrality will be achieved by installing a combination of wind turbines and electricity generating solar panels at seven of the line's nine stations.

Because some of the stations will produce more electricity than they use, it will mean that, overall, all the stations on the line - barring the regional hub at Norwich which is not included - will become carbon neutral.

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The £200,000 project is still under development, but John French, director of the company Transport Regeneration, which is working on the plans, said he hoped it would become a reality quickly.

Mr French is hoping that each station will serve as a sort of exhibition stand showing what can be achieved.

The project is being led by train operator National Express East Anglia with a number of other partners.

These include Norfolk County Council, Network Rail and the Bittern Line Community Rail Partnership.

Peter Meades, from National Express, said: “With the exception of North Walsham and West Runton, all the other stations on the line will have renewable energy technology.

“The line as a whole will be carbon neutral because these two stations will be offset by the others.”

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