The Anonymous Widower

D-Trains For East Anglia?

This article in Rail Magazine is entitled D-Trains For Anglia and says this.

Vivarail spokesman Alice Gilman told RAIL on October 19 discussions have been held about the possibility of the rebuilt D-Trains being used as part of the new Anglia franchise.

She suggested that North Norfolk and the Marks Tey-Sudbury routes could be homes for the Class 230s, which are being converted from redundant London Underground D-Stock. 

Who knows what will happen?

Remember that the trial of the IPEMU happened in East Anglia and I suspect that the current franchise holder, Abellio; knows the capabilities and costs of the two train types as good as anybody does.

So if Abellio is talking to Vivarail about D-trains they must have good reason.

Platform Lengthening

Could it be that it would need some expensive platform lengthening to accommodate the four-car IPEMU on the Gainsborough Line and the Bittern Line in North Norfolk!

I’m not sure, but I think all the other branches in East Anglia have platforms that are long enough for four-car trains, so they could accept IPEMUs tomorrow, if any were available.

London To Lowestoft

The latest franchise documents show direct trains between London and Lowestoft. Modern Railways in November 2015 says this.

Lowestoft is to regain direct services to the capital, with four through journeys in each direction.

The old direct services were well supported in the 1970s, so I suspect that they will be whenever they start.

The services would need an IPEMU, a Class 800 electro-diesel or diesel-hauled coaching stock, so you can take your pick on what ends up running these services. But it won’t be a D-train.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see all services on the Lowestoft branch were run by IPEMUs, with some extended all the way to London.

Extension From Sheringham And The Norfolk Orbital Railway

Also in Norfolk, the Bittern Line is now connected to the North Norfolk Railway at Sheringham station over a new level crossing.

Are there moves afoot in Norfolk to extend the Bittern Line to Holt? Or perhaps to even create the Norfolk Orbital Railway from Sheringham to Wymondham via Holt and Fakenham?

The campaigners for the North Norfolk Railway have created this web site.

I can’t believe Norfolk Orbital Railway will ever open, but after the successful recreation of the Borders Railway, the rules for the creation of new rail routes must have changed.

Could D-trains be an ideal way of providing rolling stock on a line with no electrical connections?

Lowestoft To Yarmouth

There must be lots of good reasons concerning commerce, tourism, leisure and families to connect the two biggest towns in the East of England by rail. Great Yarmouth is slightly bigger with a population of 70,000 to Lowestoft’s 60,000.

Because no connection exists, I’d always thought that to provide one was difficult, as it would envisage building a large bridge across the water in the area. But I have just read a section entitled Direct Yarmouth Services in the Wikipedia entry for Lowestoft station. This is said.

In January 2015, a Network Rail study proposed the reintroduction of direct services between Lowestoft and Yarmouth by reinstating a spur at Reedham. Services could once again travel between two East Coast towns, with an estimated journey time of 33 minutes, via a reconstructed 34-chain (680 m) north-to-south arm of the former triangular junction at Reedham, which had been removed in c. 1880.The plans also involve relocating Reedham station nearer the junction, an idea which attracted criticism.

Surely if Network Rail has suggested this link in this study on their web site, it must be fairly easy to reinstate, as they don’t want to start any more fiascos.

There are several possible reasons.

  1. Has the Todmorden Curve shown that these links generate traffic and revenue for Network Rail? Perhaps, they’ve even got the maps out and looked for similar curves to Todmorden.
  2. Does this link give an extra route between Norwich and Ipswich, that makes it easier for passengers to do certain journeys without changing trains?
  3. There is a significant number of journeys betwen Lowestoft and Yarmouth by rail and road.
  4. Does it make it easier for IPEMUs to serve Lowestoft and Yarmouth?
  5. Perhaps reorganising the rail lines and station at Redham realises a sizable piece of land for development.
  6. Do Network Rail want to create a record for reopening the oldest closed railway line? 135 years has probably not been beaten.

This map shows the area of the proposed junction.

Reedham Station And Junction

Reedham Station And Junction

Dspite being removed in 1880, the line of the third side of the junction is still visible.

But there is opposition as this article in the Great Yarmouth Mercury details. Perhaps, the locals don’t want any more housing?

The article mentions a cost of a billion pounds, which would make it a no-no!  However the Todmorden scheme cost less than ten million pounds for a similarly-sized curve.

If a simple shuttle was to be run between Lowestoft and Yarmouth, this could be handled with ease by a D-train. But where would you charge an IPEMU?


October 24, 2015 - Posted by | Transport | , ,


  1. Stumbled across this blog by accident-an amazing piece of work by a very,very brave and kindly person.My very best wishes to you.

    Comment by Anil | October 25, 2015 | Reply

  2. […] I was writing D-trains For East Anglia, I came across this study by Network Rail entitled Improving Connectivity, published in December […]

    Pingback by Improving Connectivity On UK Railways « The Anonymous Widower | October 25, 2015 | Reply

  3. […] D-Trains For East Anglia? I reported on how possible Anglia franchisees, were looking at using Vivarail D-Trains between […]

    Pingback by Sudbury To Cambridge – D-Train, IPEMU OR Tram-Train? « The Anonymous Widower | October 26, 2015 | Reply

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