The prospect of new train stations on the outskirts of Norwich was raised at the launch of a blueprint pressing for desperately-needed improvements to Norfolk’s railways.

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The draft Norfolk Rail Prospectus, first revealed by the Norwich Evening News yesterday, has been drawn up to make the case to the government and the rail industry that Norfolk deserves investment.

The blueprint was officially unveiled yesterday, with MPs and councillors calling for crucial track upgrades, faster trains, new stations and more frequent services.

While speeding up trains between Norwich and London is named as the top priority, the document also touches on the possibility of new stations at Broadland Business Park, Postwick and Rackheath.

It states: “The county council has adopted an implementation plan for transport in the Norwich area. This includes new stations at Postwick and at Broadland Business Park, both in the east of Norwich on the Wherry and Bittern lines respectively. These are both medium-term aims.

“On the Bittern Line, a new station has been proposed by developers, in association with new housing at Rackheath.

“Whilst the county council is sympathetic to this proposition, current timings of the train service do not allow for an extra stop on this line.

“If it were to be progressed, it would have to be done so in conjunction with either closure of one of the existing stations or a radical change to the line such as the introduction of tram-train.”

Chloe Smith, Norwich North MP, who has spearheaded the campaign for better train services, told those at the launch, at the King’s Centre in the city’s King Street, that there was no reason to allow the cancellation of the award of a franchise on the West Coast line to stop Norfolk making its voice heard.

While the award of three other rail franchises has been put on “pause” by the government, Miss Smith said rail minister Simon Burns had assured her the timetable for the East Anglian franchises remained on track.

The prospectus includes calls for trains which get from Norwich to London in 90 minutes; more frequent services across the network; new stations at Postwick, Broadland Business Park and possibly at Rackheath; the electrification of Norwich to Cambridge, Bittern and Wherry Lines; longer trains between Norwich and Sheringham at peak times and new or fully refurbished train carriages.

Miss Smith said: “It is vital that we use today to reconfirm the rail priorities that we know will give us in Norfolk the economic success that we seek.”

The prospectus will now be consulted on and is due to be approved by Norfolk County Council in the new year.

• What do you think is the most important thing to get right on the railways? Write to Norwich Evening News Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email eveningnewsletters@archant.co.uk

10 comments

  • These people are living in a never, never, land.

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    Vic Sponge

    Friday, October 5, 2012

  • Here's a novel idea - why not try and improve the level of service that is running at the moment? Not a day goes by that there aren't delays and cancellations. Forget the blue-sky thinking and try concentrating on making trains run properly and on time across the infrastructure that is currently in place. Another of Mr Plant's famous red herrings I fear....

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    User Removed

    Friday, October 5, 2012

  • All jolly good.However we still have the problem of the one track bridge over the river.Rialtrack may say that it will cost a lot of money but how much will it cost to put it further back? Without it Norwich will always be behind the rest of the country.As for new stations not being realistic or indeed possible without a new tram system well lets build it. Oh I forgot that requires imagination and will, something that our local politicians in Broadland and both our M.P.s lack.

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    eagleye

    Friday, October 5, 2012

  • In my life time Norwich had three railway station, Victoria, City and Thorpe. Victoria ended up being a coal and scrap dealers yard, City closedin the middle 60's to passengers and was used for goods for a while when the concrete works were at Lenwade and needed rail transportation. Which left Thorpe and the goods yard which disappered with the re-development of the Riverside road area. For those who were not around at the time Dr Beeching of ICI fame was given the job of dismantling the old British Railways in a very subtle manner, feeder trains arrived five minutes after the mainline trains had left, and mainline trains arrived five minutes after the feeder trains had left, thus lowering ridership to the point they could be classed as low ridership and the lines closed. I am not sure which party decided upon this course, but it was probably the Conservatives but carried on under Labour. Technical advances have today made for a much lower standard of service, the almighty computer, which is good in some respects, is only as good as the people who run it, and if there is no-one there shuts everything down, thus the delays and breakdowns.

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    canuk

    Saturday, October 6, 2012

  • It would be useful, as a regular user of the Bittern Line to feed into the London train, if ALL trains were to stop at Salhouse rather than worrying about building another station at Rackheath!

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    SNUB

    Friday, October 5, 2012

  • All jolly good.However we still have the problem of the one track bridge over the river.Rialtrack may say that it will cost a lot of money but how much will it cost to put it further back? Without it Norwich will always be behind the rest of the country.As for new stations not being realistic or indeed possible without a new tram system well lets build it. Oh I forgot that requires imagination and will, something that our local politicians in Broadland and both our M.P.s lack.

    Report this comment

    eagleye

    Friday, October 5, 2012

  • If the investment intended for HS2 were redirected into improving existing systems this may have some chance of actually happening but it won't because the railways have been there since privatisation to make a profit first.The current franchising system does not work so any plans would simply end up with the Transport Department cocking it all up anyway as they have done for the West.It remains true that rail is still the safest form of travel and is the greenest way to travel in lieu of air and car.It is in the common good for it to be given back to the people.Politically,it's the Norwich to London line that really counts.The lack of any kind of co-ordinated bus travel has not been helped either by Firstbus changing the local service.In my case the future,until it changes,is definitely orange if still unclear and poorly signed.

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    Peter Watson

    Friday, October 5, 2012

  • The bridge should come before the stations at Postwick and Broadland business park.They are a good idea but both can be served easily by one bus from the rail station. Unless operating companies use longer trains and adjust connection times, increased demand from commuters to those stops would cause even more overcrowding and delays for those using the branch lines as a first or last step of a longer journey.The potential of Yarmouth and district to take the strain off Norwich is overlooked- a half hourly service from Yarmouth and a decent car park at the station and some of the cheap houses in Yarmouth might look more attractive to commuters.

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    Daisy Roots

    Friday, October 5, 2012

  • No other country embarked on the wrecking spree of the late 50's and early '60's that destroyed much of the rural railway system,because they realised that railways are an asset,even though they need subsidies. Our railway system has descended into an overpriced inefficient national joke,and the decline of the railways has paralleled our economic downturn. To reverse this requires money and courage,non of this is apparent in our present government.

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    Harry Rabinowitz

    Friday, October 5, 2012

  • Once again my first copy was trashed by the electronics. her we go again. The idea is old and the Greens had it first. I gave a presentation in the 1990's on a tram system traversing the City from cromer via a new Postwick stop, through Norwich towards the Hospital and new businesses and the University in the south west and then to Wymondham. We had three new stations planned, Cringleford Eaton, Lakenham and Canary, right in front of the stadium. It would have provided a loop system during the day and a commuter system in the mornings and evenings. It was based on BR gauge and would have qualified for EU funding as it was connecting North east Norfolk and south west Norfolk with a tram system going through the centre of Norwich. This publicity is for something unplanned and not costed, it will take ten to twenty years to build if ever and it is designed to provide publicity for party politicians, prematurely.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Friday, October 5, 2012

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