More passengers on East Suffolk rail line as hourly service still pays dividends

Greater Anglia train at Woodbridge station on the East Suffolk Line. Picture: PAUL GEATER

Greater Anglia train at Woodbridge station on the East Suffolk Line. Picture: PAUL GEATER - Credit: Archant

The number of passengers using the East Suffolk railway line between Ipswich and Lowestoft has more than doubled over the last 10 years following the introduction of an hourly service on the route.

And the increase continued last year with an extra 14,000 passengers using the trains, a 4% rise bringing the total number of journeys up to 725,000.

Greater Anglia’s Area Customer Service Manager, James Reeve, said, “We’ve been making improvements to stations and trains and offering frequent services and great value fares, and this along with the dedication and focus of the East Suffolk Lines Community Rail Partnership, is helping our local rail lines to thrive, connecting people and communities across the county.”

Recent improvements have included a new waiting shelter and heritage station signage at Beccles, funding to regenerate Lowestoft station, the restoration of Wickham Market station and good links with local bus services, including the new through tickets from Saxmundham to Aldeburgh.

Amy Wragg, Community Rail Officer said, “The East Suffolk Lines Community Rail Partnership is absolutely delighted that more people than ever are enjoying the benefits of travelling by train.

“We are proud to partner with Greater Anglia to celebrate all the attractions that can be visited by rail in our glorious Suffolk countryside.

“There is so much to explore along the lines; from nature reserves to museums, to locally sourced food & drink. We also have a rich cultural offer, including Festivals, theatres and family entertainment on offer. There truly is something for everyone.”

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Meanwhile Network Rail completed work it was undertaking on lines during the bank holiday weekend – including closing a level crossing on the Felixstowe branch as part of its upgrading programme.

Most trains ran as normal over the bank holiday weekend – but there will be greater disruption over the next bank holiday because the lines from Ipswich to Norwich, Woodbridge and Bury St Edmunds will be closed for track renewal work.

Buses will replace trains on these routes all weekend – but there should be a clear run for passengers from Ipswich and Essex to the capital over the bank holiday.

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