There was a special gift in one of the comments boxes the other day.
The North Norfolk Railway have no intention of getting back to Melton Constable and it would be finacially stupid to do so.
We hardly have enough volunteers and paid staff as it is without having to look after even more railway. An extension into Holt proper would be just about right, providing someone coughed up the huge amount of money required.
The former works at Melton is now a very busy industrial estate but not busy enough for any rail transport, and believe me the only good thing about Melton is the road out! It is not a tourist destination and would end up costing a lot of money and probably lose money on a daily basis.
As for the Norfolk orbital idea, that again is a no go, even the main people behind it are now starting to admit that.
Leave the NNR alone to be the quality heritage line that it is.
This was a response to an earlier comment on the same thread.
It's difficult. Once you 'get' Peak Oil - and eventually we all will - this does seem to be rather an anachronistic approach to the whole process of future rail development. I've no idea whether the NOR will happen, although in the long term it almost certainly will, if this bit of Norfolk doesn't vanish underneath the waves.
But it's clear that even within the 'rail community' there are fault lines developing between the realists and the nostalgists. The nostalgists will inevitably lose because the tide of history is moving rapidly against them. That doesn't mean that future railways will not have any heritage aspect - certainly the New S&D will resemble the original S&D in every feasible respect. But as realists we will look at every aspect of operation to ascertain its profitability. To my mind denationalization of the railways was the best thing that ever happened, because it's set the future of rail up. We just need to get rid of this stupid bureaucratic nonsense of separating infrastructure, rolling stock and service provision, which seems designed to retain government control and increase costs. The New S&D will do the lot!
Back to the original comment. Time is not frozen, despite many nostalgists hoping that it can be. The fact that the poster claims that the 'very busy' industrial estate at Melton Constable is not busy enough for rail transport is not relevant. It may well be in a few year's time, and certainly will be in 20 years time when the road option no longer exists.
The difficulty in the Orbital Project to me is that it's trying to draw together too many disparate elements - two heritage set ups, plus a network route. I'd worry about how profits (and/or) costs would be fairly distributed. And the heritage idea of taking a trip for the sake of it, especially one where you end up where you started, is surely going to be consigned to the dustbin of history within a decade or two.
The existing NNR is a superb line, but it needs to eventually find a real reason to exist to allow it to survive. The Orbital Railway, when it is built (and I'm sure it will be!), should help to bring some of these real traffic flows onto the NNR.
Tourist railways, lovely though they are, will have to adapt in the future. And the logical way to adapt is to carry genuine passengers and freight, as well as offer trips for tourists.
Sadly in some ways we need to only look forwards, not backwards. That idea is going to leave some of us stranded ...