Spring Weekend Engineering Works

Engineering Works are taking place on three consecutive weekends on the East Suffolk Line this April. During this time buses will replace trains between Ipswich and Lowestoft on two of three weekends; the third weekend of work will see a rail replacement bus between Ipswich and Halesworth.

The work is being done to maintain reliability and safety along with helping to support the transport of materials by rail as part of the Sizewell C nuclear power station project. Sizewell C plans to move 60% of construction materials by rail and sea to reduce the number of HGVs using local roads.

Scope of the Works

  • removing old rail at Saxmundham and replacing it with new rail; this will provide a smoother ride for passengers and support freight services delivering heavy construction materials to the Sizewell C worksite
  • replacing defective cabling in the Saxmundham area to address signal failures and help minimise disruptions to passenger and freight services
  • maintenance work and the replacement of wheel timbers on Oulton Broad South swing bridge
  • site surveying at Woodbridge station in preparation for upcoming track renewal works that will take place later in the year; that work in August will involve the replacement of jointed rail with welded rail to prevent disruptions and provide a smoother ride

Replacement Bus Details

Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 April – buses replace trains Ipswich – Lowestoft
Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 April – buses replace trains Ipswich – Lowestoft
Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 April – buses replace train Ipswich – Halesworth; trains run Halesworth – Lowestoft

Bikes: it’s not possible to convey non-folding bikes on the replacement buses

Saxmundham Station Bus Replacement Location

Rail replacement buses for passengers at Saxmundham will depart from the bus stops on the B1121 at Patmore Water Softeners building just down from the Golden Fish Bar, instead of the railway station car park. The bus stops are a five-minute walk from the railway station.

Brampton and Westerfield

The replacement bus will not call at Brampton or Westerfield. Passengers at Brampton should use the station help point. East Suffolk Lines services do not call at Westerfield on Saturday; Sunday service is two-hourly; passengers at Westerfield should use the station help point; if travelling to/from Ipswich please use hourly Felixstowe line services instead.

You are advised to leave extra time and check before travelling. Updated times will be available within the online journey planners at greateranglia.co.uk, nationalrail.co.uk and on the mobile apps.

Additional Works in May

Engineering work will also be taking place on the East Suffolk Line at the end of May on Sunday 26 and on Monday 27 May (late May Bank Holiday) where bus replacement services will be in operation.

Mark Walker, Network Rail Anglia route infrastructure engineer, said: “These works are vital for the safe and smooth operation of our railway network and to support the transport strategy for the Sizewell C project to move construction materials by rail. Each improvement, inspection, survey, and maintenance task emphasises our commitment to passenger safety and helps us to provide efficient service for our passengers and freight operators. I’d like to thank all our customers for their patience during these essential tasks.”

Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia managing director, said: “We would like to thank customers for their patience and understanding while this essential maintenance is carried out. This work is extremely important to help maintain the safe and reliable running of the railway. A rail replacement service will run while the work takes place and passengers are advised to check before they travel and allow more time for their journey.”