Network Rail will be working on the East Suffolk Line for six consecutive days later this month to keep everyone safe and reduce the chance of disruption to passengers in future.
Teams will be making vital improvements to a bridge that carries the railway over the River Deben between Melton and Wickham Market stations.
The work will start on Sunday 20 August and finish at the end of Friday 25 August. There will be no direct trains between Ipswich and Lowestoft throughout this period, with rail replacement buses operating between Ipswich and Saxmundham, and a connecting train service between Saxmundham and Lowestoft. A bus replacement service will also run on Sunday 3 September to allow maintenance to take place elsewhere on the line.
Network Rail needs to work on the bridge because the existing timbers under the rails are deteriorating. If no action was taken, speed restrictions might need to be imposed on every train that crossed the bridge, causing delays to passengers. During the project, the old timbers will be fully replaced, with brand new rails also being installed across the bridge.
Mark Walker, Network Rail Anglia route infrastructure engineer, said: “We need to replace these bridge timbers now and require an extended stretch of access to the railway to do it. We’re really sorry that we’ll be inconveniencing passengers later this August, but 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 rail replacement bus service will run while the work takes place, so customers can complete their journeys. We would like to thank passengers for their patience.”