Thursday 20 Oct 2011


Region & Route:
| Eastern: Anglia
| Eastern

A pair of century-old railway swing bridges on the Norfolk Broads are set for a much-needed £900,000 revamp next week as Network Rail engineers carry out an extensive programme of repairs on the historic structures.

The bridges at Reedham and Somerleyton require regular maintenance to keep them in full working order. From Saturday October 22 to the early hours of Monday October 31, Network Rail engineers will carry out essential steel work repairs as well as signalling, plant and equipment refurbishment.

Chris Curtis, Network Rail general manager, said: "Running a twenty-first century railway on Edwardian infrastructure is a challenge but it’s a challenge we are committed to meeting.

"This essential investment is designed to make the bridges more reliable for train operators and the boating community. We recognise that the timing is not ideal for everyone but always look to minimise disruption with our works, and the half-term week is when the railway is at its quietest. Thanks go to rail and boat users in advance for their patience while our engineers carry out this important work."

To allow engineers to work as quickly and as safely as possible, the line between Reedham and Lowestoft will be closed to trains from Saturday October 22 to Sunday 31st October, with alterations to services between Norwich and Lowestoft/Great Yarmouth.

Buses will replace trains between Norwich and Lowestoft throughout. On Saturdays and Monday to Friday a train service will run between Norwich and Reedham. Passengers from Reedham wishing to travel to Lowestoft will be able to get the train to Norwich with the connecting bus through to Lowestoft. On Sundays buses will also run between Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft.

Notes to editors

1. For full details of changes to train services go to www.nationalexpresseastanglia.com.

2. Somerleyton swing bridge timings and restrictions:

Boats normally able to pass Somerleyton Swingbridge while closed will still be able to navigate during hours of daylight and additionally the bridge will swing at the following times:

Sat 22nd Oct – Wed 26th Oct 0830 – 0930 and 1430 – 1530
Thurs 27th Oct – Sunday 30th Oct 0830 – 0930 and 1430 – 1530 and 1700 – 1730
Width restrictions of a maximum 5.4m (18ft) will also be applied throughout the period as required.

3. Reedham timings and restrictions

Boats will be able to navigate through Reedham bridge at the following times:
Sat 22nd Oct – Sun 23rd Oct sunrise – sunset, although vessels which require a bridge swing may experience delays of up to 1 hour
Monday 24th Oct – Friday 28th Oct 1030 – 1130 and 1530 – 1630
Sat 29th Oct – Sunday 30th Oct sunrise – sunset, although vessels which require a bridge swing may experience delays of up to 1 hour
Width restrictions of a maximum 5.4m (18ft) will also be applied throughout the period as required.

4. Somerleyton swing bridge, like its sister bridge at Reedham, was built in 1905 to replace the single track bridges that carried the railway between Norwich and Lowestoft over the Yare and Waveney rivers. Both bridges are constructed from wrought iron, brick, cast steel and timber.

Contact information

Passengers / community members
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03457 11 41 41

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020 3357 7969

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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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