This autumn, Network Rail will begin work to upgrade the electrical and mechanical systems inside the iconic bridges at Reedham, Somerleyton, and Oulton Broad. Work will also include nine consecutive days in late October. The three iconic swing bridges are designed to carry trains over waterways and swing open to allow boats through. However, they are over 100 years old and have become unreliable due to deterioration of internal parts. Engineers from Network Rail will replace these parts during the project. Thus, they will make the bridges less likely to develop faults and reducing the need for costly maintenance.
The upgrade will ensure that Greater Anglia train passengers and boat users arrive on time for many years to come. This is also allowing the historic structures to be used in the modern day. Sections of the Wherry and East Suffolk Lines will need to be closed at times to allow for the work to be completed.
Upgrade of the iconic bridges at Reedham, Somerleyton, and Oulton Broad
On the following weekends, buses will replace trains between Norwich and Lowestoft:
- Saturday, September 24 and Sunday, September 25
- Saturday, October 8 and Sunday, October 9
Later in October, from Saturday, October 22nd to Sunday, October 30th, there will be nine consecutive days of bus replacement. This will be between Norwich and Lowestoft. This is down from the previously planned sixteen consecutive days. Furthermore, buses will also replace trains between Halesworth and Lowestoft on Saturday, October 22 and Sunday, October 23.
Further work on the the iconic bridges at Reedham, Somerleyton, and Oulton Broad will begin in spring 2023. Closure dates are set to be announced. “These bridges are an important part of our railway heritage as well as critical pieces of infrastructure that keep both rail and boat traffic moving,” said Ellie Burrows, Network Rail‘s route director for Anglia. Renewing the components will reduce the risk of mechanical failure and help keep services running safely, smoothly, and reliably for our passengers, while also maintaining access to ports and marinas.”