Train station entrances closed for more than 25 years to be brought back into use
- Credit: Nick Butcher
Work to regenerate major parts of Lowestoft's iconic railway station is continuing with the removal of three sets of arched doors from the concourse.
Once replaced, station entrances closed for over a quarter of a century will be brought back into regular use, improving connections to the town centre.
At over 8ft high, each set of doors are of a different pattern and although too badly decayed to be restored, each of the three designs will be carefully replicated by specialist Lowestoft-based joinery company MS Oakes Ltd. They will be finished in dark green to match the Great Eastern Railway heritage colour scheme being introduced across the site.
This latest phase of works has been commissioned by the East Suffolk Lines Community Rail Partnership in conjunction with Greater Anglia with principal funding for the scheme obtained from the Railway Heritage Trust and the Department for Transport's Designated Community Railway Development Fund.
Work to restore the former station Parcels Office enters its next phase later this year with conversion into a new public exhibition space able to host a variety of events and activities. The Victorian concourse will also see the installation of new lighting, designed to be more in keeping with the sites heritage.
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Martin Halliday, community rail officer for the East Suffolk Lines Community Rail Partnership, said: 'We are pleased that our plans to regenerate major parts of the station are progressing well with removal of the concourse doors taking place this week. Once completed, the re-opening of the doorways facing Station Square will be a major factor in re-engaging the wider station site with the town centre.
'Regular visitors to the station will have noticed a number of improvements over the past few months including a heritage painting scheme, refurbishment of the buffer stops, additional parking facilities and the securing and subsequent clearance of land with an enormous amount of unsightly debris removed. There is still much work to be undertaken and the replacement of the concourse doors signifies another important milestone within the project.'
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Lowestoft Station dates back to the 1840s and is the most easterly on the entire UK rail network.
Paul Haynes, partnership manager at Greater Anglia added: 'Lowestoft station is on its way to becoming a real community hub thanks to this ambitious project, which is not only restoring and protecting both the fabric and heritage of the building, but is making the station much more welcoming as a result.'