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Rail appeal offers local incentive

PUBLISHED: 09:57 13 August 2008 | UPDATED: 12:45 20 May 2010

It promises to give a serious boost to tourism in north Norfolk and now one of the district's most popular attractions is offering a major incentive to encourage local people to get involved with its latest project.

It promises to give a serious boost to tourism in north Norfolk and now one of the district's most popular attractions is offering a major incentive to encourage local people to get involved with its latest project.

Anyone who lives within striking distance of the North Norfolk Railway will be offered reduced fares on the line for three years if they contribute towards its new fund- raising drive.

The Poppy Line wants to raise £100,000 to reinstate a level crossing across Station Road in Sheringham.

The scheme was granted planning permission earlier this year and the proposal would link the heritage railway with the Bittern Line and the rest of the UK rail network.

Railway bosses say the link, which would only be used on several occasions throughout the year to bring in “guest” engines, has the potential to significantly increase tourist numbers.

And with the whole district set to benefit, they are asking local people to get on board by donating cash to help fund the work.

NNR director Julian Birley said: “Once the crossing is restored, we plan to bring in special charter steam trains from London and elsewhere in the off-peak months.

“They will arrive over a weekend and depart for London on Sunday afternoon.

“With each train carrying upwards of 200 people, there will be a welcome influx of visitors which will benefit accommodation providers and businesses in Sheringham and Holt.

“The link will allow us to bring in exciting steam engines like the Flying Scotsman which will also attract extra visitors.”

Mr Birley said people living in the NR25, NR26, NR27 and NR28 postcode areas who contribute a minimum of £20 to the appeal will receive a three-year resident's pass.

This will entitle the holder to travel on the railway for only a quarter of the normal fare on days when special events are not taking place.

Rail enthusiasts hope that work on the line can be completed before February when it will be 50 years since the Poppy Line closed as a British Rail operation.

Cheques can be sent to Crossing Appeal, North Norfolk Railway plc, Sheringham Station, NR26 8RA or for more information, email enquiries@nnrailway.co.uk or call 01263 820800.


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