Tuesday, March 21, 2023
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Home Infrastructure Century-old track to be replaced to make East Suffolk Line fit for...

Century-old track to be replaced to make East Suffolk Line fit for the future

Network Rail has announced plans to start vital track and embankment strengthening work on a section of the Ipswich-Lowestoft line.

Starting in December and continuing into next year, the work will boost reliability for passengers – and freshen up the century old track! Some of the track being replaced was laid nearly 100 years ago, and it’s starting to wear a little thin…

Ellie Burrows, Network Rail’s route director for Anglia, said: “It is hugely important that we replace this old track and strengthen the embankment so that we can safely run trains along the East Suffolk Line for years to come.


“This is a major package of works that will regrettably mean some disruption. I’d like to thank Greater Anglia passengers and the local community for bearing with us while we upgrade their railway and drive down delays.”

The new, modern rail will be continuously welded, which will help to reduce noise caused by passing trains. Engineers will also completely replace the ballast and sleepers. This will minimise faults and help to keep services running reliably on the line.

Whilst the track work is taking place, Network Rail will be improving the surfaces on seven level crossings around Woodbridge, which are currently old and uneven. Once this is complete, the level crossings will be easier and safer to use for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers.

Work will continue later in the spring. During this time, as well as completing the track and level crossing work, engineers will be strengthening an embankment that supports a stretch of line to the south-west of Woodbridge. This is essential to keep trains running safely in future and to allow the track on the embankment to be replaced later in 2023.

Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia managing director, said: “This improvement work will help make services even more punctual along the East Suffolk Line. Our new trains are running on these routes and this engineering work will help modernise the line and provide a more comfortable journey for passengers as well as making the railway a better neighbour for the local community.

“A rail replacement bus service will run while the work takes place, so customers can complete their journeys. We would like to thank customers for their patience while this work is carried out.”

The level crossings in Woodbridge that are being upgraded will need to be closed at times during this period. Network Rail is working with the local community to minimise the impact of the closures, including by installing a temporary accessible footbridge near the station.

Image credit: Network Rail

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