Work to repair fire-hit railway station on track despite lockdown

Saxmundham railway station as it currently looks Picture: ARCHANT

Saxmundham Railway Station as it looked last October - Credit: Katy Sandalls

Work to repair a fire-hit east Suffolk train station remains on track, almost exactly three years after the building went up in flames. 

Saxmundham Railway Station was left badly damaged following a serious fire in February 2018. 

Six crews spent two hours putting out the blaze which disrupted train services on the East Suffolk Line for most of the day. 

The fire caused serious damage to the station, which dates back to 1859.

The fire lead to the entire second floor of the station building having to be removed for safety reasons, leading to the scuppering of plans for a community hub which has since moved elsewhere. 

Firefighters tackling a blaze at Saxmundham railway station earlier this year Picture: SARAH LUCY BR

Firefighters at the scene of the station fire in February 2018

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In October 2020, the rail operator said that it hoped that the work on the railway station would be complete by Easter 2021, adding that it was about to put the station work out to tender. 

Greater Anglia confirmed this week that work on the site was continuing as planned despite further lockdowns and snow in recent months. 

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A spokesman for the company said that a compound had been set up on the site earlier this week for work to begin.

East Suffolk Council had originally approved plans for the station to be restored as a single storey building back in October 2019, despite calls for a more comprehensive redevelopment from some within the town. 

Once complete the newly refurbished building is set to include a waiting room for passengers and a new area for self-serve vending machines where tickets can be purchased.

Work to expand the station's car park was also included in Greater Anglia's plans.

This work has already been completed. 

Work on the main station building had been due to take place in Summer 2020 .

Greater Anglia said that some of the delays had been due to the coronavirus pandemic.  

In addition to this,  the rail operator also made adjustments to the plans for the building which required changes to the original planning permission to be approved.

These included moving of the proposed entrance of the station to its original door.  

Greater Anglia said that updates on the work at the station would be given in due course. 

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