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Published on : Tuesday, August 9, 2016
Passengers traveling from Norwich to London Liverpool Street will benefit from increased reliability and fewer delays, following the replacement of an old railway bridge, which carries the main line to London over Long John Hill in Norwich.
The old bridge, which is situated to the south of the city, will be demolished and replaced during the August bank holiday weekend, as part of Network Rail’s Railway Upgrade Plan, to provide a bigger and better railway for passengers. The railway will be closed between Norwich and Ipswich while the work is carried out.
To carry out the work as quickly as possible and reduce the impact on passengers, Network Rail’s orange army has already built the new and improved bridge on adjacent land. Once the old bridge is demolished, the new one will be lifted into place using similar self-propelled modular transporter machines that transport NASA rockets.
The new structure has a flat and reinforced underside instead of an archway, to reduce both the likelihood of a vehicle hitting it, and the damage to the bridge if a vehicle does hit it, increasing the robustness and reliability of the railway for the hundreds of passengers who rely on this route every day.
Following its deterioration over the years, temporary works were carried out to the old bridge last year so that trains could continue to use it, subject to a speed limit, to minimise any further damage to the structure. Once the new bridge is in place, trains will once again run at line speed, resulting in fewer delays to passengers. Further work will take place underneath the bridge once it is in place so that the road and footpath can reopen in the autumn.
The work will take place from Saturday, 27 August until the early hours of Tuesday, 30 August and the railway will be closed during this time. Passengers travelling between Norwich and London Liverpool Street will be affected by the closure and a rail replacement bus service will be operating between Norwich and Ipswich. Tickets will also be valid via Cambridge.
Richard Schofield, Network Rail’s route managing director for Anglia, said: “Replacing this bridge will make the railway more robust and reliable, improving journeys for thousands of passengers, and the work has been planned to minimise disruption. With passenger numbers continuing to grow and the demands being placed on our railway getting ever greater, work like this is crucial to the smooth running of the railway for years to come.”
Jamie Burles, managing director, Abellio Greater Anglia, said: “We are grateful to customers for their patience and understanding while these important works are carried out. The improvements will help to deliver a better and more reliable service for passengers on the Great Eastern Main Line. We are committed to working with Network Rail to improve punctuality and performance across our network.”
During the same period, work will also take place on this line to prepare for Crossrail and renew the overhead wires. Trains will terminate at Stratford, and tickets to London Liverpool Street will be accepted on the Central Line. Passengers are advised to check before they travel.