Reminder: swing bridge work means buses will replace trains between Norwich and Lowestoft for nine days: Swing bridges Anglia

Monday 17 Oct 2022

Reminder: swing bridge work means buses will replace trains between Norwich and Lowestoft for nine days

Region & Route:
Eastern: Anglia

Network Rail will be working on upgrading electrical and mechanical systems inside Reedham and Somerleyton swing bridges from Saturday 22 October to Sunday 30 October.

The iconic bridges are designed to carry trains over waterways and swing open to let boats through, but they are over 100 years old and their internal parts have become unreliable. During the project, Network Rail’s engineers will replace these parts, making the bridges less likely to develop faults and reducing the need for costly maintenance.

In order for the work to be carried out, a section of the railway will need to be closed, meaning that buses will replace trains between Norwich and Lowestoft on nine consecutive days: Saturday 22 October to Sunday 30 October.

On Saturday 22 October and Sunday 23 October, work will additionally take place on Oulton Broad swing bridge, meaning that buses will also replace trains between Halesworth and Lowestoft on this weekend only.

The upgrade of Reedham, Somerleyton and Oulton Broad swing bridges will help Greater Anglia’s train passengers and boat users get to their destinations reliably for years to come, while enabling the historic structures to keep being used in the modern day.

Further work on the three swing bridges will take place in spring 2023, with the dates of closures to be advised.

Advice for passengers

Please check your specific journey carefully before you travel on and

On Saturday 29 and Sunday 30 October, due to other engineering work, buses will additionally replace trains between Norwich – Great Yarmouth and Norwich – Cromer / Sheringham.

Full size bicycles and e-scooters cannot be carried on rail replacement buses.

Advice for boat users

River access for vessels will be limited while the work takes place but there will be short windows of opportunity to open the bridges during the closures. These are being communicated by the Broads Authority directly to boat users.

Ellie Burrows, Network Rail’s route director for Anglia, said: “These bridges on the Wherry and East Suffolk lines are an important part of our railway heritage and also critical pieces of infrastructure that keep both rail and boat traffic moving. Renewing the components will reduce the risk of mechanical problems and help keep services running safely, smoothly and reliably for our passengers, as well as maintaining access to the ports and marinas.”

Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia managing director, said: “Our new trains have already improved reliability on our Norwich and Ipswich to Lowestoft lines and this work will make it even better, which I know our customers will welcome. While the work is going on we will make sure customers can still complete their journeys with a rail replacement bus service.”

Rob Rogers, Broads Authority Director of Operations, said: “This much-needed investment by Network Rail into the Broads’ swing bridges is very much welcomed by the Broads Authority and our boating communities.

“It has been a challenging few years for our river users regarding the bridges and we are delighted to hear that work is progressing to allow them to reliably open for river traffic.

“We urge the boating community to note the periods of closure above and to check our website as the works progress for any navigation updates.”

Notes to editors

For more information, please visit our Anglia swing bridge renewals webpage

You can follow us on Twitter for the latest news in the Anglia region @NetworkRailAng and find swing bridge updates using the hashtag #AngliaSwingBridges

The Lowestoft to Norwich Wherry line is celebrating its 175th anniversary this year – having opened to goods on 3 May 1847 and passengers on 1 July 1847.

Watch the video to find out more about the project:



Contact information

Passengers / community members
Network Rail national helpline
03457 11 41 41

Latest travel advice
Please visit National Rail Enquiries

Network Rail press office - Katie Mack
Media relations manager (Anglia route)
0330 8577 132

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