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Boost for steam train plan

PUBLISHED: 10:18 08 July 2009 | UPDATED: 14:20 03 July 2010

A SUMMER surge of fund-raising has boosted an appeal to bring iconic steam trains to north Norfolk.

A new crossing link rejoining the Poppy Line heritage attraction with the Bittern Line rail network at Sheringham will cost about £140,000 - with backers hoping to get it finished early next year.

A SUMMER surge of fund-raising has boosted an appeal to bring iconic steam trains to north Norfolk.

A new crossing link rejoining the Poppy Line heritage attraction with the Bittern Line rail network at Sheringham will cost about £140,000 - with backers hoping to get it finished early next year.

The rail link was severed 40 years ago under a nationwide pruning of branch lines. If it can be reconnected, steam-hauled excursion trains carrying hundreds of enthusiasts will be able to run to north Norfolk from all over the country.

The Oliver Cromwell and Tornado A1 locos are among those already being pencilled in for trips, which backers say will be a major boost for the local tourist economy.

Last month Poppy Line bosses at the North Norfolk Railway launched an £85,000 appeal to add to a kitty already helped by donations and a pledge of £25,000 top up funding from the county council.

Spokesman Colin Borg said in the space of just a few weeks another £12,500 had come in taking them half way to their overall target.

Railway shareholders, supporters and the general public had all rallied to the cause, including one sponsor agreeing to buy one of the £2,500 gates on the rail track.

“It has been an incredible response, but we would encourage people to keep donating,” said Mr Borg.

Supporters can also sponsor a £150 yard of rail track or £250 sleeper.

More information about the appeal is on the North Norfolk Railway website www nnrailway.co.uk/crossing or by calling 01263 820800 or emailing enquiries nnrailway.co.uk

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