Rail group launches bid to buy vital part of former line

The Fakenham Flyer train arrives at Fakenham from Norwich. pic taken 21st april 1979 c12610 p

The Fakenham Flyer train arrives at Fakenham from Norwich. pic taken 21st april 1979 c12610 pic to be used in edp dml may 2010 - Credit: Archant

A last-minute bid has been launched to buy a section of former railway which has come up for sale for the second time and could be an important factor in the future restoration of rail services to Fakenham.

One of the bridges at the former railway at Pudding Norton, Fakenham. A section of the railway is up

One of the bridges at the former railway at Pudding Norton, Fakenham. A section of the railway is up for sale for the second time and could be an important factor in the future restoration of rail services to Fakenham. - Credit: Archant

The Melton Constable Trust, the registered charity behind the Norfolk Orbital Railway project, wants to bid for the land at Pudding Norton, Fakenham, and has launched an urgent appeal to help raise the funds needed.

When the site, which includes two bridges, came up for sale before there was a strong response to the Trust's appeal - but their plans hit the buffers at auction when a bid was made well above the guide price.

This time around, the land has a guide price of £10,000 and will go under the hammer on December 10.

Trevor Bailey, a trustee of the Melton Constable Trust, said: 'Second chances don't come that often. In 2009 we were outbid. Now the opportunity has arisen again but, as before, at very short notice.

'We need all the financial support we can attract before December 10 when the land is due to be auctioned.'

Fellow trustee Derek Haynes added: 'We want to see Fakenham reconnected to the national rail system via the Mid Norfolk Railway in order to provide environmentally-friendly public transport to suit modern conditions, as well as the heritage services which MNR is already operating successfully to Dereham. It will take years but it is important that we secure any parts of the route as they become available.'

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The Melton Constable Trust has to make its bid at the auction on December 10.

Donations should be sent to Adrian Loynes, The Melton Constable Trust, The Railway Institute, 6, Briston Road, Melton Constable, Norfolk, NR24 2DA. Alternatively, go to www.norfolk-orbital-railway.co.uk to donate online.

Are you helping to restore a heritage site? Email kate.scotter@archant.co.uk

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