Plans to have trains running through Holt once again have taken a major step forward with the success of fundraising efforts to buy the land needed for the project.

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The Melton Constable Trust is trying to raise cash 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.

And they have had a major boost after being successful in the first phase of 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 was to raise £15,000 in pledges, which will then be doubled up by the Big Give Charity Champion to £30,000, by October 14, which the trust has now managed to reach.

Following the success of the pledge phase, members of the public will be able to make online donations on December 6, 7 or 8.

The pledges and the online donations together will determine how much money the railway extension project receives from the Big Give.

David Bill, a trustee of the Melton Constable Trust, said; “The more we get from the public and other supporters, the more we get from the Big Give.”

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.

The estimated cost of the total land is between £200,000 and £250,000

For further information on the project and donations see the Norfolk Orbital Railway website www.norfolk-orbital-railway.co.uk

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