Visitors to Hunstanton beach in May. A project to reinstate the town’s rail link to Lynn has moved a step closer. Picture: Ian Burt.
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A campaign to restore a West Norfolk rail link is one of 50 shortlisted schemes set to be considered by a panel of experts over the summer.

A bid to restore the King’s Lynn to Hunstanton railway line has been submitted to the department of transport as part of the Restoring Your Railways Ideas Fund and, if selected, it could lead to money for a detailed feasibility study.

There have been submissions for projects across England and Wales and the succesful bids are to be announced by the end of the summer.

The bid, submitted by Norfolk County Council in June, is one of two projects in East Anglia to make the shortlist. 

The other project is a proposal to re-open lines between Dereham and Wymondham.

Successful bids are expected to receive a share of a government fund to develop proposals to re-open railway lines and stations, including some of those closed following the Beeching cuts, which saw around 5,000 miles of track closed and more than 2,300 stations shut, many in rural areas, in the 1960s. 

MPs, local authorities and community groups have been invited to propose how they could use funding to reinstate axed services.

It is estimated reinstating the Lynn to Hunstanton route, which closed in 1969, could cost more than £100m.

Campaigners say much of the track bed still exists and the King’s Lynn to Hunstanton Railway Campaign Group has argued restoration would have “compelling” economic, environmental and social benefits. 

The bid proposes to re-open the former line as part of the national rail network — allowing communities in North West Norfolk to have links  to Cambridge, London and beyond. 

Campaigners have said it would also provide an alternative to road travel for the thousands of visiting holidaymakers and could potentially be used for freight, helping to reduce road traffic and pollution.

The campaign has been backed by North West Norfolk MP James Wild.

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