Norfolk

Sheringham station reopening plans delayed by signalling

Sheringham works Image copyright Greater Anglia
Image caption The re-opening of the rail line between Sheringham and Cromer has been put back to 22 May

The reopening of a railway station in north Norfolk after a £1m refit has been delayed by another week because of signalling problems.

The platform at Sheringham station has been upgraded and extended to 80m (262ft) to accommodate Greater Anglia's new 'bi-mode' trains.

It was due to open on 6 May - and then 16 May - after more than a month of building work. The new date is 22 May.

Greater Anglia said it was "working very hard" to complete the project.

A spokeswoman said: "We apologise for any inconvenience resulting from this further delay... but there are a few final tasks to complete before the line can be re-opened and the normal service restored."

Sheringham station shut on 31 March and was due to reopen to passengers in early May, but the discovery of faulty beams and a signalling issue put the reopening back.

Andrew Munden, chairman of the town's chamber of commerce and manager of the leisure North Norfolk Railway line, said Sheringham was often thought of as "the twig at the end of the branch line".

Image copyright Greater Anglia
Image caption The original station platform at Sheringham before the work

He said the upgrade was a "tremendous vote of confidence in this part of the county".

"For the last 52 years this station has not been fit for purpose - too short and too narrow, and that's a major deterrent," he said.

"This will revolutionise local services."

He added that the original platform had been a temporary structure when the station was built in 1967.

Mr Munden also praised Greater Anglia and Network Rail for suspending work for a day to allow the first "dining car" tourist service of the season to run unhindered.

The local service, known as the Bittern Line, has seen passenger numbers increase from 200,000 in the mid 1990s to 680,000 in 2017-18.

The new bi-mode trains, made by Swiss manufacturer Stadler, are built to switch between electric and diesel power.

They will come into service in Sheringham in October, and are already in use between Norwich, Cromer and Diss.

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