The Anonymous Widower

Charity Charter Visits Suffolk Hotspots

The title of this post is the same as that of the caption on a picture in Issue 851 of Rail Magazine.

I was intrigued that the charter appeared to visit Leiston station on the Aldeburgh Branch Line.

So I searched for Leiston station on the Internet and found this article on the East Anglian Daily Times, which is entitled Network Rail Improving Suffolk Line That Has No Regular Train Services.

It would appear that last Autumn, Network Rail improved the line. Reasons given in the article include.

  • It would be used again if Sizewell C is built.
  • It is occasionally used to stable Network Rail engineering trains during the day if they are working in the area at night.
  • Steam-hauled charters are also mentioned.

I looked at building a new station at Leiston in A Station For Leiston.

The charter service didn’t use Leiston station, because it has been converted to houses.

So it ran to the level crossing near the power station.

This Google Map shows the level crossing.

The area with two tracks was used for loading the nuclear flasks from Sizewell A, that used to be taken to Sellafield for reprocessing.

It would appear to be an ideal place to turn a train round, as if necessary the locomotive could be moved to the other end.

Perhaps, Network Rail store their engineering trains here!

Reopening The Aldeburgh Branch Line To Passenger Trains

Wikipedia says this about Sizewell C.

In October 2017, it was announced that the projected completion and first generation date of Sizewell C would be in 2031.

This could mean that the Aldeburgh Branch Line would be needed to transport workers and materials to the site, possibly as early as 2022-3.

In my view there are other reasons for reopening the line.

  • About ten thousand people live in the area and an hourly train service to Woodbridge and Ipswich might be a useful commuter and leisure service.
  • Work opportunities for some groups are thin on the ground.
  • The roads in the area need improvement.
  • Aldeburgh is a town that attracts a lot of visitors.

But I think, the biggest reason for reopening a service would be that an hourly Ipswich to Aldeburgh service, would mean that it might be possible to timetable a half-hourly service between Ipswich and Saxmundham calling at Westerfield, Woodbridge, Melton and Wickham Market.

This increase in service on the Southern section of the East Suffolk Line, might attract a lot of passengers going to and from Ipswich.

Greater Anglia have certainly got enough new Class 755 trains to run the service.

Conclusion

Thje Aldeburgh Branch Line works as an occasional branch line, but would it work as a regular commercial passenger service?

May 9, 2018 - Posted by | Transport | , ,

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