The Bittern Line rail partnership marks its 20th anniversary

Peter Mayne, Chairman of the Bittern Line CRP, Jonathan Denby, Head of Corporate Affairs for Greater

Peter Mayne, Chairman of the Bittern Line CRP, Jonathan Denby, Head of Corporate Affairs for Greater Anglia, Peter Twiss, former Chairman of the Bittern Line CRP. Photo: David Pearce - Credit: David Pearce

It is still one of the busiest train lines in Norfolk, bringing tourists to the coast.

But that would not have been possible without the support of a dedicated group of rail enthusiasts.

The Bittern Line Community Rail Partnership (CRP) promotes Norfolk's railways and has developed the Norwich-Sheringham line over the years.

This week the organisation is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a series of events, including live music, guided walks and craft sessions around the county.

During its lifetime the CRP has played an invaluable role in supporting and developing projects to promote the railway which has helped to build community links, improve station facilities and upgrade train services.

The group is now hosting a range of events with children's colouring taking place at Norwich Train Station all week, tours of Wroxham Smoke House and Signal Box and guided walks in Salhouse.

At surprise times throughout the week cakes and sweet treats will be served along the line by volunteers.

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Peter Mayne, chairman of the Bittern Line CRP, said: 'We are hugely proud and excited to be celebrating our 20th birthday. 50 years after closure of the line was contemplated, the partnership, with support from the communities we serve, has ensured that the line has gone from strength to strength.'

The CRP was launched in 1997, as part of an initiative between Anglia Railways and Norfolk County Council to revitalise the rail links between Norwich and the north Norfolk coast.

Jonathan Denby, head of corporate affairs for Greater Anglia, said: 'The most satisfying thing so far is the fact collectively we have succeeded in attracting many more people to the line.

'Back in 1997 we were attracting around 200,000 journeys on the line but now it is well over 600,000.

'That is great for the railway but also for the communities along the line, Sheringham is thriving, Cromer is thriving and North Walsham is thriving.'

'There is a big opportunity for the line as in two years time we are getting brand new three carriage trains.'

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