Bridge closures to affect rail travel in and around Lowestoft

The swing bridge at Reedham

The swing bridge at Reedham - Credit: Network Rail

Rail travel in Lowestoft will be affected later this year as bridge upgrades take place in and around the town.

Network Rail is planning to close the Wherry line between Reedham and Lowestoft and the East Suffolk line between Lowestoft and Beccles to allow engineers to complete upgrade work to three swing bridges at Oulton Broad, Reedham and Somerleyton.

Thought to date back to around 1905, the internal components of the swing bridges haven’t been replaced in over 100 years and need frequent and costly maintenance.

The Oulton Broad swing bridge

The Oulton Broad swing bridge - Credit: Network Rail

But starting in autumn this year, Network Rail’s engineers will be upgrading the internal components for each bridge.

This will include replacing the winch systems, hydraulic jacks and pipework, lighting and installing new power systems.

The bridges will be closed during the following dates:

Saturday, September 24 and Sunday, September 25.

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Saturday, October 8 and Sunday, October 9.

Saturday, October 22 to Sunday, November 6 and Sunday, November 20.

Greater Anglia will be running a replacement bus service so that rail passengers are able to complete their journeys. 

According to Network Rail, this work will make the bridges less prone to faults, reducing the need for maintenance and will be able to operate more reliably throughout the year for passengers.

It will also benefit river traffic by providing more reliable access to the local waterways and support the local economy, especially throughout the busy summer period when tourists are welcomed to the area.

Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia managing director, said: “This work will make our Norwich and Ipswich to Lowestoft lines even more reliable, 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.”