Bridge work completed to help keep Ipswich–Lowestoft line safe and reliable: The bridge after work was completed

Tuesday 29 Aug 2023

Bridge work completed to help keep Ipswich–Lowestoft line safe and reliable

Region & Route:
Eastern: Anglia

Network Rail has completed six consecutive days of work on the East Suffolk Line to reduce the chance of disruption to passengers in future.

Engineers made vital improvements to a bridge that carries the railway over the River Deben between Melton and Wickham Market stations.

The work was needed because the timbers under the rails were deteriorating. If no action was taken, speed restrictions might have needed to be imposed on every train that crossed the bridge, causing delays to passengers. During the project, the old timbers were fully replaced, and brand new rails were also installed across the bridge.

Rail replacement buses ran between Ipswich and Saxmundham while the project was being delivered over the six days from 20 to 25 August.

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."

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

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Richard Cooper
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Network Rail

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We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.

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