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Rail chiefs bid to improve rural service

PUBLISHED: 12:06 12 March 2010 | UPDATED: 16:44 06 July 2010

RAIL bosses are aiming for an improved service on rural lines when through trains to London are axed at the end of the year.

At present, there is a two-hourly service from Peterborough, through Bury St Edmunds, and from Lowestoft, through Saxmundham and Woodbridge, to the capital.

RAIL bosses are aiming for an improved service on rural lines when through trains to London are axed at the end of the year.

At present, there is a two-hourly service from Peterborough, through Bury St Edmunds, and from Lowestoft, through Saxmundham and Woodbridge, to the capital.

The through trains are to be axed in December - National Express East Anglia wants to use the “paths” currently used by three-car diesel units to run eight or 12-car electric units into Liverpool Street.

Once the through service stops, diesel “Turbostar” units will be transferred to the Ipswich to Cambridge route - hoping to make the hourly service more competitive with the A14.

Turbostars will also be used for most services on the East Suffolk line between Ipswich and Lowestoft. There will also be a “fill-in” service between Ipswich and Saxmundham, ensuring that stations on the southern section of the line have an hourly service to Ipswich.

This will be extended to Lowestoft when the “Beccles loop” is completed in 2012. The two-hourly service from Ipswich to Peterborough will also be operated by Turbostar units.

National Express spokesman Peter Meades said: “We are still consulting about the timetable for December, but we do want to improve services on our routes - in particular we want to turn the Ipswich to Cambridge route into a high-quality inter-urban route because it serves some very important communities.

“The East Suffolk line will also benefit because the section between Ipswich and Saxmundham will have an hourly service for the first time.”

When an hourly service was introduced on the Felixstowe branch several years ago, the number of passengers increased substantially.

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