Tuesday 8 Aug 2017
Fewer delays for Suffolk rail passengers following installation of new track
Rail journeys between Ipswich, Lowestoft and Felixstowe will now be smoother and more reliable following the installation of 15km of new track over a nine-day closure.
Network Rail’s orange army replaced around 15,000 metres of new rail and 10,150 sleepers as part of its Railway Upgrade Plan, while the line was closed between Ipswich and Halesworth from Saturday 29 July to Sunday 6 August.
16,500 tonnes of ballast was also replaced to improve drainage and reliability. A grid was installed at Westerfield station to keep the ballast in place and the tracks aligned, making for a smoother journey and further improving reliability.
Simon Ancona, Network Rail’s chief operating officer for Anglia, said: “We have replaced the old track with new to make journeys between Ipswich, Lowestoft and Felixstowe smoother and more reliable as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan. New track is less susceptible to damage, meaning fewer delays and disruption caused by damage to the track. I’d like to thank everyone for their patience while we carried out the work.”
Jamie Burles, Managing Director of Greater Anglia, said: "This new track will help us to run a more reliable, on-time railway and make customers' journeys better. We would like to thank our customers for their patience and understanding while this work was carried out."
About Network Rail
Network Rail owns, manages and develops Britain's railway - the 20,000 miles of track, 40,000 bridges and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations (the largest of which we also run). In partnership with train operators we help people take more than 1.65bn journeys by rail every year and move hundreds of millions of tonnes of freight, saving almost 8m lorry journeys. We employ 38,000 people across Britain and work round-the-clock, each and every day, to provide a safe, reliable railway.
About the Railway Upgrade Plan
The Railway Upgrade Plan is Network Rail's investment plan for Britain's railways. It makes up two-thirds of Network Rail's £40bn spending priorities for the five years to 2019 and represents the biggest sustained programme of rail modernisation since the Victoria era. It is designed to provide more capacity, relieve crowding and respond to the tremendous growth Britain's railways continue to experience; passenger numbers have doubled in the past 20 years and are set to double again over the next 25 years - so we need to continue to invest in building a bigger, better railway. For passengers, that means:
- longer, faster more frequent trains;
- better, more reliable infrastructure; and
- better facilities for passengers, especially at stations.