The Anonymous Widower

9 Energy, House And Rail Projects Planned For Norfolk

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the Eastern Daily Press.

The article is a survey of major projects across Norfolk.

Projects in the article with my thoughts will now be detailed.

Railway Village

This is described as follows in the article.

Plans to build a new 5,000-home town north of Dereham could take a significant step forward in 2023.

The proposals have been dubbed a ‘railway village’ and would lie close to the Mid Norfolk Railway at North Elmham.

The 1,278-acre site has been put forward by its owners as a potential area for development included in Breckland Council’s forthcoming local plan – a document detailing how the district should grow over the next two decades.

This map from OpenRailwayMap shows North Elmham and the Mid-Norfolk Railway.


  1. The yellow line is the Mid-Norfolk Railway.
  2. The site of the former North Elmham station is shown by the blue arrow at the top of the map.
  3. The orange line across the South-East corner of the map is the Breckland Line between Cambridge and Norwich.
  4. Wymondham station is on the Breckland Line, but trains between the Mid-Norfolk Railway and Norwich would be able to call at Wymondham station.

Wymondham station could be converted into a proper connection between the Breckland Line and the Mid-Norfolk Railway, with services being run between Norwich and North Elmham via Dereham.

In the Wikipedia entry for the Mid-Norfolk Railway, there is a section, which is entitled Community Railway, where this is the first paragraph.

The Mid-Norfolk Railway was established as a multi-functional line, with an intention to operate a community service in addition to tourist and freight services. The railway has also stated their belief that a commuter service between Dereham and Norwich remains a viable proposition, with the MNR either running the service themselves or working with an existing train operator. One obstacle on the MNR to running such services is the requirement to operate five manual gated level crossings between Dereham and Wymondham, although level crossing automation is a possibility in the future.

Later the section indicates that the Mid-Norfolk Railway could be extended to Fakenham.

This map from OpenRailwayMap shows the original route between North Elmham and Fakenham.


  1. The yellow line is the Mid-Norfolk Railway.
  2. North Elmham station is at the top of the yellow.
  3. Fakenham is at the top of the map.

Adding Fakenham to the passenger service from Norwich would surely increase its viability.

There have been ambitions in the past to create a Norfolk Orbital Railway, that would connect the National Rail stations at Sheringham and Wymondham, using the tracks of the North Norfolk Railway and Mid-Norfolk Railway, and some new and relaid track.

This map from OpenRailwayMap shows North Norfolk from Fakenham and North Elmham in the West to Sheringham in the East.


  1. Fakenham is on the Western edge of the map about halfway up.
  2. North Elmham is in the South-West corner of the map, on the yellow line, what indicates the Mid-Norfolk Railway.
  3. The railway shown in the North-West corner is the Wells and Walsingham Light Railway. which is a 260 mm. gauge railway.
  4. Sheringham station, which has an hourly service to Norwich via Cromer, is in the North-East corner of the map.
  5. The Eastern terminus of the North Norfolk Railway is a short walk from Sheringham station.
  6. The blue arrow to the West of Sheringham station, indicates the Western terminus of the North Norfolk Railway at Holt station.

The Norfolk Orbital Railway would need to connect Fakenham and Holt, which doesn’t appear to be easy.

But if the connection could be made, Greater Anglia could run a combined service around the county, which would allow those living in the houses at North Elmham to get easily to the coast or the City of Norwich.

Wash Barrage

This is described as follows in the article.

A bid to build a tidal barrage stretching from Norfolk to Lincolnshire was unveiled at the end of last year.

While the scheme has seen objections from conservation groups, proponents say it would help protect the Fens from flooding, generate tidal power and would allow a new deep-sea container port to be built.

A planning application has yet to be submitted for the scheme, which Centre Port, the group behind the proposal, said could be operational by the end of the decade if given the go-ahead.

The Wash Barrier has a web site, but I doubt the RSPB will like it.

New Reservoir

The article says that the proposed site is between Chatteris and March in Cambridgeshire.

Long Stratton Bypass

This is described as follows in the article.

The Long Stratton Bypass has been mooted for decades and finally looked like it was going to get underway after funding was approved in 2021.

The scheme will mean motorists can avoid passing through the centre of the town.

It was needed, when C regularly commuted to Norwich in the 1980s.

Norwich Western Link

This is described as follows in the article.

The flagship infrastructure project has been thrown into doubt after County Hall announced an indefinite delay earlier this month.

The 3.9-mile road is designed to link the A47 with the NDR to the west of the city and has been hailed as a council priority for several years.

Climate protestors are mounting a High Court challenge.


These are described as follows in the article.

There are a series of major windfarms planned for the Norfolk coast.

These include Swedish energy giant Vattenfall’s Boreas and Vanguard projects, which could be some of the largest in the world.

The company was granted development consent for its Norfolk Vanguard windfarm in 2022, pledging to get underway early this year.

The two schemes could power more than 3.9m homes in the UK.

Hornsea Three, another major scheme which could power another 3.2m homes, is set to start being built in March.


  1. The author missed out the Sheringham Shoal and Dudgeon Extension windfarms.
  2. Total wind power that will be developed is around 6 GW, which would supply around a quarter of the UK.

The only problem is that Norfolk is protesting against the cables to connect the wind farms to the National Grid.

I suspect they will have to be put under the sea. I wrote about this in Is There A Need For A Norfolk-Suffolk Interconnector?

New Rail Junctions

The problems around Ely station are described as follows in the article.

A key rail junction, which could help to boost growth across the region, could steam ahead this year.

Ely Junction is important because it links five lines connecting Norwich, Ipswich, Cambridge, Peterborough and King’s Lynn.

It is currently operating at full capacity, which limits the opportunity for growth of routes for passenger and cross-country freight services.

It would also enable more frequent passenger services, including between King’s Lynn and London.

An outline business case was submitted to the Department for Transport last year to seek money for the next stage of the design process – but the government has yet to make a decision.

There are also problems at Haughley Junction.

Hospitals Rebuild

The article also puts the case for developing both King’s Lynn and Great Yarmouth hospitals.


Norfolk is going to be busy.


March 2, 2023 - Posted by | Energy, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. The link from the NNR though to the MNR is certainly not easy. I know the Holt side very well.

    Unfortunately most of the the track alignment in Holt was reused as the Holt bypass (and the original station is gone too). There is not enough room to put in a single track to parallel the bypass the whole length, and any possible route would likely need some street running in the vicinity of Holt (i.e. would need to be tram-spec train, heritage or otherwise). And a tram alignment through Holt town centre would be unpopular, as the town centre retains a largely Georgian appearance (no tram wires please, only battery/hybrid tram) and is also very narrow/cramped (very short trams). About the only solution that might work is the Coventry ULT solution currently in prototype, but would that manage the longer runs down to the MNR? The ULT also feels too much like a gadgetbahn, little more than a short distance peoplemover, and thus the complete NOR would have to use a mix of vehicles anot would not support single seat journeys in the Holt area. And no, not a trackless tram either, just use EV buses instead (with reverse panto in service charging if needed)

    Better funding of bus to coordinate timetables and improve frequencies seems a better bet for a NOR transport context–yes perhaps a train or inserted tram on the MNR lines.

    Comment by MilesT | March 3, 2023 | Reply

    • Thanks for the input.

      It does appear that the MNR are fairly commercial, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see a Norwich Fakenham service to serve the new Railway Village.

      But I suspect it will need an electric or hydrogen zero-carbon bus to connect Holt and Fakenham.

      Would a network on zero-carbon buses in an area like North Norfolk improve tourism numbers?

      It can’t be long before Stadler put batteries on the 755s. They said they might do it, at the first major service.

      Comment by AnonW | March 3, 2023 | Reply

      • Greener buses to improve tourism in Norfolk? No, not on their own at least

        The way the main operator (Sander’s) works their services currently the distances are too long, and they can’t afford the capital investment in expensive EVs (would need to be fully funded by council).

        To improve bus based tourism in the area, there needs to be more destinations served at higher frequency, likely mostly subsidised. Diesel would do. This hasn’t been featured in the Bus Service Improvement plan, and there just isn’t the money (Capital or Revenue)

        In short: lots of funding to implement service aligned to Jarret Walker’s 7 requirements of public transit (look it up on wikipedia).

        Agree that the 755s could go electric, the rural routes in Norfolk would mostly support this operationally, certainly the Bittern Line to Sheringham. The 755’s have already vastly improved the experience and I think has raised ridership.

        Comment by MilesT | March 3, 2023

  2. Perhaps the solution to places like Norfolk is to put in decent diesel buses running on sustainable fuel and get the passenger numbers up first and then replace them with zero-carbon buses.

    Comment by AnonW | March 3, 2023 | Reply

    • Frequency and Span in cheap older vehicles to get consistent ridership before investing in better vehicles

      Comment by MilesT | March 3, 2023 | Reply

  3. Norfolk is getting some zero-carbon buses.

    Comment by AnonW | March 4, 2023 | Reply

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