Reminder: 13-Day Closure to Stabilise and Widen Embankment Starts Saturday 25/3

The embankment near Martlesham to be stabilised and widened

Starting this Saturday 25 March and running through to Thursday 6 April, Network Rail will be working to stabilise and widen a mile-long embankment just to the north of Martlesham on the East Suffolk Line.

Buses Replace Trains Saxmundham – Ipswich

There will be no direct trains between Ipswich and Lowestoft throughout these 13 consecutive days. Trains will run between Lowestoft and Saxmundham whilst rail replacement buses operating between Saxmundham and Ipswich. Note: Full-size bicycles and e-scooters cannot be carried on rail replacement buses.

Passengers are being advised to check before they travel.

The car park at Saxmundham station will be closed during the works as it will be used by the rail replacement buses.

The engineering work is needed because the top of the embankment is slipping away. Vital signalling equipment and signage is gradually falling down the embankment which could affect the future safe and reliable running of the line.

There is no walkway for railway workers along the embankment; access to carry out essential maintenance is severely limited. The widening work will provide enough space for a new walkway.

The work needs to be completed before a mile of worn-out track on top of the embankment can be replaced. Network Rail will be back to carry out to replace the track from 16 to 25 August when buses will replace trains for 10 consecutive days.

Mark Walker, Network Rail Anglia route infrastructure engineer, said: “I’m really sorry that passengers will face extended stretches of bus replacement. However, the major work on this steep, high embankment is vital to help keep trains on time and avoid sudden disruption or closures. We are building an East Suffolk Line that is fit for the future.”

Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia managing director, said: “This improvement work will help ensure we can continue to operate a punctual train service along the East Suffolk Line. Our new trains are already providing a very good service on the route and this engineering work will help ensure we can continue to deliver high standards of performance on a consistent basis and provide a more comfortable journey for passengers.

“A rail replacement bus service will run between Ipswich and Saxmundham between 25 March and 6 April so customers can complete their journeys. We would advise everyone to check before they travel and allow more time for their journey. We would like to thank customers for their patience while this work is carried out.”

Level Crossing Renewals at Woodbridge

In addition to the embankment work, engineers will renew the surfaces of two level crossings in Woodbridge on 25 and 26 March. This follows the completion of upgrades on three other nearby crossings, making them easier and safer to use for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers.