Network Rail will be working on the southern section of the East Suffolk Line for six consecutive days later this month to ensure the safe running of the railway and to prevent disruption to passengers in future.
Teams will be making vital improvements to a bridge that carries the railway over the River Deben between Melton and Wickham Market stations. Network Rail needs to work on the bridge because the existing timbers under the rails are deteriorating. If no action is taken, speed restrictions might need to be imposed when trains cross the bridge, causing delays. During the project, the old timbers will be fully replaced, with brand-new rails also being installed across the bridge.
Buses Replace Trains Ipswich – Saxmundham Sunday 20/8 – Friday 25/8
The work will start on Sunday 20 August and finish at the end of Friday 25 August. During this time there will be no direct trains between Ipswich and Lowestoft; rail replacement buses will operate between Ipswich and Saxmundham with a connecting train service running between Saxmundham and Lowestoft.
Mark Walker, Network Rail Anglia route infrastructure engineer, said: “We need to replace these bridge timbers now and require an extended stretch of access to the railway to do it. We’re really sorry that we’ll be inconveniencing passengers later this August, but our focus is to run a safe and reliable railway all year round, reducing the risk of any sudden disruption or longer closures.”
Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia managing director, said: “This improvement work will help us maintain high levels of punctuality on the East Suffolk Line. With our new trains having raised service standards on this important route, this engineering work will help secure the reliability of the rail infrastructure and provide a more comfortable journey for passengers.
“A rail replacement bus service will run while the work takes place, so customers can complete their journeys. We would like to thank passengers for their patience.”
Additional Work Saturday 3 September
A bus replacement service will also run on Sunday 3 September to allow maintenance to take place elsewhere on the line and on the Felixstowe Line.