Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 5°C

ESTD 1874 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

The fire service and police at the scene of a fire on Oulton Road North.

Picture: James Bass

An elderly man has died and another man was injured following a fire at a home in Oulton.

Dee Culley had help from her 10 year-old daughter Trinity, who had watched a birthing programme on tv, when she unexpectedly had her waters break and gave birth to Jasmin on March 31.

A nine-year-old girl helped her mum deliver her baby sister after watching TV programme One Born Every Minute.

Thatch fire in Thorndon

A total of 35 firefighters have put out a thatched cottage blaze in Thorndon.

Gorleston Beach

A man who suffered a cardiac arrest on Gorleston Beach this afternoon has been taken to hospital in a life-threatening condition.

Colchester market manager Emma Powell, Town Crier Robert Needham, Cllr Anne Turrell, Mayor John Elliott, Mayoress Janet Elliott, Roman Centurion David Carter and President of the National Market Traders Federation visited stall holders at the launch of Colchester's new market on Saturday, 18 April.

Colchester’s new Charter Market was officially launched yesterday with a day of celebration.

House burglary in Colchester

A laptop and camera have been stolen during a house burglary in Colchester on Friday night.

Damage is caused to a parked car in Colchester.

It is believed damage caused to a parked car in Colchester was by a vehicle which did not stop.

Woman arrested over Leiston stabbings

A 27-year-old woman has been arrested in connection with the stabbing of two men in Leiston yesterday.

Race for Life fundraise with a Zumba flash mob in the Ipswich Cornhill on Sunday, 19 April.

Around 50 impromptu dancers wowed crowds on Ipswich’s Cornhill with their Zumba moves yesterday afternoon.

Solar farm. Library image.

A proposed solar park in Wix has been tipped for approval by council planning officers.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages