Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 8°C

Search

Suffolk: Problems remain as Beccles rail loop opens on East Suffolk line

14:36 10 December 2012

Official opening of the newly extended track at Beccles Station enabling trains to pass and a new hourly service between Lowestoft and Ipswich.  Picture: Nick Butcher

Official opening of the newly extended track at Beccles Station enabling trains to pass and a new hourly service between Lowestoft and Ipswich. Picture: Nick Butcher

© Archant 2012

THE long-awaited Beccles loop has finally opened, allowing an hourly service to run between Suffolk’s two largest towns.

shares

But on the day the new service was opened with VIPs on the first new train from Lowestoft, the fragility of the service was exposed as two level crossings broke down.

That meant the train had to stop before passing them at walking pace – ultimately that made the train 10 minutes late into Ipswich.

The new loop cost £4 million and was completed By Network Rail as part of the resignalling of the line thanks in part to a £1 million grant from Suffolk County Council.

County councillor with responsibility for transport Guy McGregor said he was delighted the new loop had been completed, but the opening should only be seen as the start.

“This is a great day – the first hourly service we have seen on the East Suffolk Line. But we need to now press for the line speed to be improved and for the number of level crossings to be reduced.”

He said the problems with the level crossings between Saxmundham and Wickham Market showed how the reliability of the line’s technology needed to be improved.

Mark Lawry from Network Rail said there was a review of the number of crossings on the line – the company would like to reduce the number as much as possible because they contributed to lowering the line speed.

The 46 miles from Lowestoft to Ipswich takes 90 minutes by train – that is a similar time to that taken to drive along the A12 but it is a long way from being a high speed train.

MPs Peter Aldous, Therese Coffey, and Dan Poulter joined the train for all or part of the journey.

Suffolk Coastal MP Dr Coffey said: “Oh, happy day! I remember when we got a reply from Philip Hammond (then Transport Secretary) giving the go ahead for the work two years ago.

“It is wonderful to see that it has now been completed – it will transform rail travel in the constituency.”

shares

2 comments

  • 90 minutes Lowestoft - Ipswich? Its hardly the 21st century image of the 'age of the train'.

    Report this comment

    Tractorboy

    Tuesday, December 11, 2012

  • This infers that it takes 90 minutes to drive between Ipswich and Lowestoft - I don't believe it!

    Report this comment

    rustic

    Monday, December 10, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Kim Sale pictured at her home in Kesgrave with mum, Kellie Thorndyke.

Kesgrave teenager Kim Sale says she is looking forward to the rest of her life, almost a year to the day since she was dealt the devastating news that a tumour in her leg was cancerous.

An artist's impression of the Arras Square to the Buttermarket - as it should look later this year.

Five major restaurants have now formally signed up for the new-look Buttermarket Centre in the heart of Ipswich which is due to open later this year.

Meet the candidates vying for your votes ahead of the Suffolk police and crime commissioner elections

Today’s the day when voters in Suffolk can vote for a Police and Crime Commissioner for the county to serve for the next four years.

Suffolk police have defended their decision not to warn the public that missing Michael Leaberry could pose a threat to children

Reassurances over public protection are to be sought after police revealed a man missing for seven months is considered a serious risk to children.

West Suffolk Hospital in Bury.

Union leaders have raised “serious concerns” about the amount of money spent on senior NHS staff in the region at a time when frontline workers have seen real time reductions in their earnings.

20 month old Brody Bevan has Williams Syndrome. Brody is pictured at home in Stowmarket with mum, Nikki.

Two Suffolk parents are organising a fun day to raise awareness and funds to research a rare genetic disorder affecting their young son.

Members of the Woodbridge Riverside Trust (left to right) Pete Clay, Malcolm Hodd, Andrew FitzGerald and Carolyn Gibbins, pictured ahed of demolition at the old Whisstocks boatyard

A £70,000 fundraising campaign has been launched to guarantee the future of a major new waterfront heritage project.

Suffolk and Essex go to the polls today

Have you voted yet? If you are still confused, see our Q&A on the day’s voting.

Mike cook with a copy of the 1958 plans for Ipswich's inner ring road

Planning officials and planning rules aren’t every developers’ favourite subjects, writes Paul Geater.

UCS.

Headteachers, business chiefs and keynote speakers will gather at the first-ever Suffolk Festival of Learning to discuss the future of education in the region.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24