New shelter and heritage sign to be unveiled at railway station
A new platform shelter and replica sign are due to be unveiled at Beccles Railway Station as part of a series of improvements.
The shelter will protect passengers from the elements while waiting at the station, with funding coming from the Department for Transport Designated Community Rail Development Fund and Suffolk County Council.
Once a major junction, Beccles Station had been in decline up until the late 1990s. However installation of the new shelter by the East Suffolk Lines Community Rail Partnership is the latest development which has seen the site transformed since a second platform was brought back into use with the creation of a passing loop in 2012. This allowed the introduction of an hourly service which has seen passenger numbers on the line increase by almost 100pc.
Over the past few years, train operator Greater Anglia has also installed a ticket vending machine, realtime information displays and CCTV at the site with the former station building converted in 2016 by the Beccles and District Regeneration Charity to provide community meeting rooms, business units and a café.
The station has a dedicated team of volunteer adopters who keep the public areas tidy and tend to flowers in tiered planters donated by Beccles Town Council.
The Community Rail Partnership and Greater Anglia have also jointly funded a replica enamel name board, installed to mark the line’s 159th anniversary last week.
Graham Elliott, chairman of the Community Rail Partnerships’ Northern Line Group and a member of the volunteer Beccles Station adopter team, said: “We are thrilled that the new shelter is now in place and that the drainage work has been completed. Passengers will be pleased to shelter away from the rain and the puddles.
“This is another positive step towards achieving our goal of making Beccles Station a welcoming and attractive gateway to the town. The tiered planters, replica sign and new shelter all contribute immensely to the cause.”
Plans are also in place to re-instate the station rose garden, improve information for visitors to the area and install new seating and platform lighting.
The new shelter and heritage sign will be officially unveiled today at 2pm by Waveney MP Peter Aldous.