Track replacement work, via Network Rail

Norfolk and Suffolk routes to receive major reliability improvements

A package of engineering works is about to begin this Spring, seeing the delivery of reliability development works to improve track resiliency, whilst improving level crossings in a bid to reduce delays on the lines that run between Norwich - Lowestoft, Great Yarmouth and Sheringham.

These works will mean necessary disruptions to passenger services, seeing five consecutive days of bus replacement services between Norwich and Lowestoft from Saturday 22nd April to Wednesday 26th April.

Further disruptions will be seen in the Norwich to Great Yarmouth line from Saturday 22nd April until Sunday 23rd April, requiring replacement bus services once again, crossing the Wherry Lines.

Mark Walker, Network Rail Anglia route infrastructure engineer, said:

“This work really needs doing to keep trains running whatever the weather. In addition, our level crossing improvements will help people to continue using our crossings safely and easily into the future. I’d like to thank everyone for bearing with us through the disruption and I can reassure them that we’ll be making the most of the time to deliver a high-performing railway.”

These major upgrade works will see the replacement of half a mile of ballast between the Sheringham branch line junction and Brundall station, due to the lasting affects that have plagued the track support from the notable heatwave last summer. A new, safeguarding ballast will bring reliability back to passenger journeys, whilst also improving the overall quality of the ride along the route.

Further works include over half a mile of worn-out track will be replaced at Cantley, accompanied by major re-surfacing works for level crossings around Somerleyton. These collective improvements are essential for the smooth, daily operations of the passenger rail, reducing delays whilst minimising risk to the railway.

The Sheringham branch line will see engineers upgrade two level crossings, which will integrate automatic barriers upon culmination, thus removing the need to phone the signaller to request access. This performance boosting upgrade will result in no trains running on Sunday 16th April and Sunday 23rd April.

The upcoming level crossing closures will consequently affect the local roads for vehicular passengers, pedestrians and cyclists, requiring Network Rail to liaise with local communities regarding the impact of the upcoming disruptions and collaboratively coming up with alternative arrangements.

Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia managing director, said:

“This package of engineering work is designed to ensure we keep on providing a high-quality service for customers on the Bittern and Wherry Lines. These routes are entirely served by new trains and Network Rail’s upgrade work will help us to maintain the excellent punctuality levels currently being delivered and further enhance rail travel for passengers in the region.

“Rail replacement buses will run while the work takes place, so customers can still complete their journey. We would advise people to check before they travel.

“We would like to thank customers for their patience and understanding while these works take place.”

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