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Railway lines to close for a month during works

PUBLISHED: 08:32 16 August 2019 | UPDATED: 08:32 16 August 2019

A train at Acle station on the Wherry Line which runs between Norwich and Great Yarmouth.

Picture: James Bass

A train at Acle station on the Wherry Line which runs between Norwich and Great Yarmouth. Picture: James Bass

Railway lines crossing the Norfolk Broads will close next year for upgrades.

Reedham Swing Rail Bridge on the Wherry line between Lowestoft and NorwichReedham Swing Rail Bridge on the Wherry line between Lowestoft and Norwich

Services on the Wherry lines, linking Norwich to Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft, will not run for 23 days next February while Network Rail carries out works on the signalling systems, level crossings, bridges and sections of track.

The signals, some of the oldest in the country, will be replaced with a computerised system controlled from the Colchester Rail Operating Centre.

During the works the signals will be switched on and six level crossings - at Brundall, Cantley, Lingwood Chapel Road, Lingwood Station Road, Oulton Broad North and Strumpshaw - will be upgraded to full barriers.

Repairs and renewals are planned for some bridges and sections of track.

New Wherry Lines train vinyls promoting the Norwich to Great Yarmouth/Lowestoft rail lines.

Picture: James BassNew Wherry Lines train vinyls promoting the Norwich to Great Yarmouth/Lowestoft rail lines. Picture: James Bass

The bridge at Postwick will be fully replaced while new track will be installed at Lowestoft, Acle and Hassingham.

Additional maintenance works will be carried out to Reedham and Somerleyton swing bridges to improve reliability of services by upgrading the current detection systems, in use since the 1940s.

During the works, rail replacement buses will operate on the following routes: 
- Saturday February 1 to Sunday February 2 - between Norwich and Great Yarmouth

- Monday February 3 to Sunday February 16 - between Norwich and Great Yarmouth, Norwich and Lowestoft and between Beccles and Lowestoft

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- Monday February 17 to Sunday February 23 - between Norwich and Lowestoft

Mehlia Duymaz, Network Rail's route managing director for Anglia, said: "I'm sorry that 23 days of engineering works will be difficult for passengers but completing these large-scale projects and maintenance in one coordinated effort will help reduce the overall amount of disruption and deliver a safer, modern and reliable railway for many years to come."

Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia managing director, said: "We are sorry to customers for the inconvenience that this engineering work causes them, but we will make sure they can still complete their journeys, even if some of it is by bus.

"Along with Network Rail, we are transforming the railway in Norfolk, and this major upgrade, combined with our new trains, is bringing it into the 21st century."

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