River Deben Bridge Work Completed

River Deben bridge work complete
The River Deben bridge following completion of the work – Network Rail photo

Network Rail has completed a project on the East Suffolk Line to reduce the chance of disruption to passengers in future.

Over the course of six days from 20 to 25 August, engineers made vital improvements to the bridge that carries the railway over the River Deben between Melton and Wickham Market stations.

Timbers on the bridge underneath the rails were deteriorating; if no action was taken it’s possible speed restrictions might have needed to be imposed leading to delays. All the old timbers were replaced and brand new rails were installed across the bridge.

Photos courtesy of Network Rail

During the project, rail replacement buses ran between Ipswich and Saxmundham connecting passengers to trains between Saxmundham and Ipswich

Mark Walker, Network Rail Anglia route infrastructure engineer, said: “Thank you so much to passengers for bearing with us during the work. We needed to replace these bridge timbers and required an extended stretch of access to the railway to do it. 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.”

Note: A bus replacement bus service will also run between Ipswich–Saxmundham and Ipswich–Felixstowe this Sunday 3 September to allow for other essential maintenance to take place elsewhere on the line.