Plans on track for railway museum

Train fans will soon be able to book a ticket back to the hey day of a north Norfolk railway line as plans gather steam to restore a historic signal box as a museum.

Train fans will soon be able to book a ticket back to the hey day of a north Norfolk railway line as plans gather steam to restore a historic signal box as a museum.

A scheme to convert Cromer's defunct signal box into a 1965 replica has just received a �10,700 boost from the Railway Heritage Trust.

The funding news means that plans are now firmly on track to open up the signal box and its complex lever frame display as a museum next year.

In August 2000 the signal box's working days ended when it was replaced by an electronic system based at Trowse, near Norwich.


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The box off Holt Road was built in 1922 and is the only remaining example of a Midland and Great Northern Railway signal box.

For more than two years volunteers from the Cromer Railway Signalling Society have been cleaning and clearing up the concrete site and have recently started to install 1960s fittings and equipment. It is hoped that that the restoration will be so complete that if a signal man from 1965 entered the box he would feel right at home with its basic fixtures and clanking levers. In 1965 a signal man would have been responsible for at least 16 passenger steam trains as well as numerous freight trains on his shift.

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The ongoing restoration is also a victory for campaigners from the Cromer Railway Signalling Society who ensured the Grade II listed building was preserved instead of being demolished.

Scott Petre, who launched the signal box project, said: "Things are going really well - in fact I am getting very excited about it.

"It would have been a sad shame if we had lost such a historic signal box. It was an important part of the railway network."

The society, which has also received funding from Network Rail, Cromer Town Council and the Poppyland Partnership, hopes to put in a railway carriage by the box to house further exhibits and provide visitor amenities.

Cromer's old signal box currently is open to the public on the first Saturday of every month.

Anyone interested in joining the Cromer Railway Signalling Society can write to the CRSS membership secretary at Merchant's Place, 16 Church Street, Cromer, Norfolk NR27 9GW.

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