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Could railway station re-open after more than 50 years?

PUBLISHED: 15:05 29 January 2020 | UPDATED: 15:05 29 January 2020

County councillor Bev Spratt (inset) has called for Forncett station to be re-opened. Picture: Archant

County councillor Bev Spratt (inset) has called for Forncett station to be re-opened. Picture: Archant

Archant

A call has been made for a railway station which has been out of action since the year England won the World Cup to be brought back into use.

A call has been made for  Forncett station to be re-opened. PHOTO: Nick ButcherA call has been made for Forncett station to be re-opened. PHOTO: Nick Butcher

Forncett station, which opened in 1849, last served passengers on November 5, 1966, after being removed as a stop on the Norwich to Ipswich line.

However, more than 50 years later, a councillor has called for the station to be reinstated on the line, arguing it could be provide a key service to the area's growing population.

As councillors discussed a wishlist of improvements desired to be made to the county's railway network, Conservative councillor Bev Spratt floated the idea of bringing the former station back into action.

Mr Spratt, who represents the West Depwade division, but lives in Tacolneston, said he could see the value in reinstating the Forncett station - and said he believed the infrastructure would be there to do it.

Norfolk County councillor Bev SprattNorfolk County councillor Bev Spratt

He said: "I have often said that I feel Forncett station should be reinstated and I would like to see this included as an option going forward.

"A lot of people live in the area now, with new homes being built, so for them to be able to get on a train and go into Norwich rather than taking their cars would be a very good thing.

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"I am frustrated that I have had to bring this up rather than it being included in the prospectus to begin with."

The station was once the second stop out of Norwich on the way to the capital after Flordon, but had a phased closure across the 1960s. This saw a daily freight service between Norwich and Stowmarket pulled in December 1964, before it was closed completely in 1966.

It was opened by the Eastern Union Railway and in 1908 was partially damaged by a violent storm, which tore through one of its wooden platforms.

Mr Spratt added: "I definitely think there would be value in re-opening it and the railway network is already there to do it."

As well as serving the Norwich to Ipswich Line, during the station's heyday there was also a branch line service between Forncett and Wymondham.

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