Greater Anglia prepared for busy weekends – and line closures next year

Greater Anglia is preparing for a busy weekend - and has put another of its new Stadler trains into

Greater Anglia is preparing for a busy weekend - and has put another of its new Stadler trains into service, strengthening other rural routes. Picture: GREATER ANGLIA - Credit: Archant

Rail company Greater Anglia is preparing for the first of two busy weekends this month as it expects thousands of extra passengers to use its trains.

This weekend football is at the forefront of their planning - before they run extra and longer trains over the bank holiday weekend for the Ed Sheeran concerts at Chantry Park.

It is strengthening its trains on the Ipswich to Peterborough line on Saturday as football fans head west for the Tractor Boys' local derby with Posh at London Road.

They are also expecting substantial numbers of Norwich and Newcastle fans heading to the Premier League match at Carrow Road. And to add to the mix, Cambridge fans will be heading to Colchester which could add more passengers on the Cambridge-Ipswich line.

Greater Anglia's efforts to provide enough spaces could be boosted by the entry into service of another of their new Stadler bimode trains on the Norwich to Cambridge line - freeing up an extra diesel train to strengthen other services.

James Steward, Greater Anglia's Area Customer Service Manager, said: "Trains and stations are expected to be very busy on Saturday as people make their way to and from these popular events. People should buy their tickets in advance where possible and allow more time for their journeys."

Meanwhile Network Rail has confirmed that the northern end of the East Suffolk Line, between Beccles and Lowestoft, will be closed for two weeks next February while it completes resignalling and track-laying work on the Wherry Lines between Norwich, Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth.

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Buses will replace trains between Lowestoft and Beccles from February 3 to February 16. The line from Lowestoft to Norwich will be shut from February 3 to February 23.

The East Suffolk Line itself is not affected by the signalling changes - but the last two miles of the journey to Lowestoft is shared with the Norwich route.

A spokeswoman for Greater Anglia said they had not yet completed planning for the bus service link at the north of the route - but they would try not to radically change the timetable over the rest of the East Suffolk line during this closure. Full details would be published well in advance of the actual closure at the start of next year.