Major boost for £100m campaign to reintroduce rail travel between two Norfolk towns

An archive image of the former Hunstanton Railway Station. Norfolk County Council hopes to turn the

An archive image of the former Hunstanton Railway Station. The line from King's Lynn to Hunstanton could be restored - Credit: Ian Burt

A £100m rail project hailed as the “biggest game changer in a generation” for Norfolk has been handed a major boost. 

The bid to reopen the railway between King’s Lynn and Hunstanton took another step forward this week, with the government asking campaigners to submit further details to strengthen the case for funding.

A First Capital Connect train arrives at King's Lynn station. Picture: Ian Burt.

Plans to reintroduce rail travel between King's Lynn (pictured) and Hunstanton have been submitted to the Department for Transport - Credit: IAN BURT

In July, the proposal was included in a national shortlist of restoration schemes, each vying for a slice of the Restoring Your Railway Fund.

Lynn to Hunstanton was one of two East Anglian submissions in the running, with the other - a proposal to regenerate the Wymondham to Dereham line - also in Norfolk.

Leading the charge in west Norfolk is the King’s Lynn to Hunstanton Rail Group, whose campaigning has brought Norfolk County Council (NCC) and MP James Wild on board.

James Wild, Conservative MP for North West Norfolk, has been working on the project to restore the r

James Wild, MP for North West Norfolk - Credit: Archant

And now Mr Wild, member for North West Norfolk, has received a letter from transport minster Chris Heaton-Harris saying the case "needs strengthening", adding "it is great that the proposal has potential."

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David Cumming, NCC's strategic transport team manager, said: "It is encouraging that government recognises the potential of the proposal.

"We look forward to participating in workshop sessions that it is arranging, which will help us to understand our next steps."

Hunstanton railway pictured in August 1969. The line from King's Lynn to Hunstanton could be reopend

Hunstanton railway pictured in August 1969. The line from King's Lynn to Hunstanton could be reopened - Credit: IAN BURT

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The government's fund is focused on bringing back facilities closed during the Beeching cuts of 1963, which saw Britains’s railway network dramatically reduced.

The Lynn to Hunstanton line, which helped the seaside resort become a booming tourist destination, escaped the Beeching cull, but it was closed in 1969.

On Friday, it was announced 15 smaller schemes - mainly in the north of England and Midlands - had been awarded up to £50,000 each, meaning none in the south east or East Anglia have thus far been successful. 

The government has queried what a specific benefits a railway will bring to King’s Lynn and Hunstanton, as well as communities along the line and other nearby towns. 

Grant Shapps, who has resigned amid allegations he failed to deal with allegations of bullying withi

Transport secretary Grant Shapps - Credit: PA

Officials have also asked for more data on overcrowding of the present road network, how many level crossings would be needed and any risks to coastal flooding. 

Campaigners have highlighted the easing of traffic congestion on the A149 and improved access to Cambridge and London as key benefits.

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