Welcome to our website, this is very much ‘work in progress’ so feel free to revisit on a regular basis to catch up with updates.
The Norfolk Orbital Railway (The Orbital), managed by the Melton Constable Trust, is a project designed to provide the infrastructure for a multi purpose transport corridor. Already 75% of the 83 mile route is served by rail, operated by Mainline and Heritage railway operators. Our objective is to develop the final section and complete the Orbital.
The Orbital works with stakeholders and local councils to bridge the 20 mile link between two of Norfolk’s popular heritage railways – The North Norfolk Railway station at Holt and the Mid-Norfolk Railway station at County School, North of Dereham. Much of this will be possible using the protected former railway track routes, for example the 6 mile route from County School to Fakenham. In other areas, we work with local landowners and communities to identify and develop sustainable and mutually beneficial route alternatives.
Through generous donations, the Trust was recently able to purchase two parcels of former railway land at Holt and in Fakenham.
The Three Brick Arches at Fakenham
Tourism is the largest sector industry in Norfolk and Heritage and Community railways form an important part of this sector in terms of visitor attraction and travel. The Orbital takes us through rich and diverse Norfolk landscapes – sandy heathlands of Breckland, dramatic coastlines of North Norfolk, meandering waters of the Broads and provides the traveller an opportunity to stop off on route and experience a range of attractions (for example, Wymondham Abbey, Cromer Pier, Bishop Bonner’s Cottages, Pensthorpe) and activities (for example, walking from Weybourne station, shopping at Holt, golf at Sheringham). The railway shaped Norfolk development and still plays an important role today in shaping our future.
Like the Melton Constable Trust, other charities and organisations across the UK that have been affected by the unprecedented impact of the coronavirus outbreak are being given access to a comprehensive package of support of up to £600 million of repurposed money from The National Lottery. This money is supporting some of the most vulnerable people in our communities and span the arts, community, charity, heritage, education, environment and sports sectors.
Thanks to National Lottery players, £30 million is raised every week for good causes, including heritage of local and national importance. By playing The National Lottery, people up and down the country are making an amazing contribution to the nationwide-response to combatting the impact of COVID-19 on local communities across the UK.
The National Lottery Heritage Fund’s Heritage Emergency Fund is now closed for applications. To find out more about how The National Heritage Emergency Fund is supporting the sector at this time please visit: https://www.heritagefund.org.uk/responding-coronavirus-covid-19
To find out more about the National Lottery Good Causes , visit: www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk/coronavirus-pandemic-response