Bittern Line Community Rail Partnership

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launch of the Bittern Line Partnership July 1997 The Bittern Line Community Rail Partnership is an initiative of Norfolk County Council's Planning & Transportation Department. In 1968 British Railways sought to close the Railway between Norwich and Sheringham, it was only kept open due to the poor road infrastructure in the area and with funding assistance from Norfolk County Council.

The Norwich to Sheringham line is part of the National Railway network operated by the train operating company, Greater Anglia. In 1996 the Council were seeking ways to develop the rural railways in Norfolk to arrest the decline in services and infrastructure. A study was commissioned through Transport Research and Information Network (TR&IN) now part of ACoRP. They recommended that a Community Rail Partnership between local authorities Network Rail and Anglia Railways (predecessor to National Express East Anglia) and the local community as the best way forward.

The Norwich to Sheringham Community Rail Partnership was set up in July 1996 and after a local newspaper competition to give the Norwich to Sheringham line a name, The Bittern Line was chosen and officially launched in 1997, this reflects a local rare species of bird to be found in North Norfolk.

Investment in infrastructure by Network Rail has exceeded £17 million pounds in the past six years, replacing the signalling system and upgrading and repair of stations and track.Previously National Express East Anglia and Anglia Railways arranged for trains to stop at additional stations to attract local patronage, improved the station environments and add many additional train services to the timetable.

The Bittern Line continues to be proactive and itís members from all parts of the local community help to promote and improve the Norwich to Sheringham Railway. For the future we strive towards longer trains, a new station at Sheringham or connection to the North Norfolk Railway, both costly schemes, but either of which must happen to ensure a prosperous growth for the railway. We will continue to invest in and promote access to all stations along the route and to improve all transport links with the Bittern Line.

The Partnership is funded by Norfolk County Council as the lead partner, Greater Anglia, Norwich City Council, North Norfolk District Council, Sheringham, Cromer and North Walsham Town Councils, North Walsham Forward and supported by, the North Norfolk Railway, Bure Valley Railway, Womenís Institute, Heinz Plc (Worstead), local parish councils, local businesses, tourist attractions and accommodation outlets along the route. We also work with, The Association of Community Rail Partnerships, RSPB, the National Trust, The Norfolk Coast AONB, The Norfolk Broads Authority, CAMRA, The Norfolk Churches Trust, Ramblers Association and local bus operators.

The Partnership is funded by the lead partner, Greater Anglia and Norwich City Council, North Norfolk District Council, Sheringham, Cromer and North Walsham Town Councils, North Walsham Forward and supported by, the North Norfolk Railway, Bure Valley Railway, Heinz Plc (Worstead), local parish councils, local businesses, tourist attractions and accommodation outlets along the route. We also work with, The Association of Community Rail Partnerships, RSPB, the National Trust, The Norfolk Coast AONB, The Norfolk Broads Authority, CAMRA, The Norfolk Churches Trust and local bus operators. The Partnership is supported by Community Rail Norfolk which is a company limited by guarantee, registered in England no. 07712720.

Registered office:
c/o Broadland District Council
Thorpe Lodge, 1 Yarmouth Road
Norwich, Norfolk NR7 0DU
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