Decision looms over Ipswich station’s proposed closure

Ipswich train station Ipswich train station

Thursday, August 28, 2014
10:37 AM

A decision was due to be announced today on whether Sunday’s proposed railway closure at Ipswich will go ahead as planned.

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Engineers from Network Rail met last night to look at what went so disastrously wrong over the weekend, causing major hold-ups for travellers from Norfolk on Monday morning.

They were attempting to work out whether they could be confident that next Sunday’s work could be completed on time, and were today due to report their decision to Abellio Greater Anglia.

Network Rail area director Andy Boyle said this week that he would only allow the work to go ahead if he was certain that it would be completed on schedule.

He said: “I am not going to cause carnage on the rail network.”

The line is due to be closed until 3pm on Sunday to allow new signalling to be installed at Ipswich freight yard, just north of the town’s station.

On Tuesday the line re-opened seven-and-half hours late after engineers struggled to connect new signals to existing signalling equipment in the station area.

Following the delays, an East Anglian MP has said Network Rail directors should get no bonuses next year after this summer’s chaos on East Anglia’s main rail line.

Colchester’s Sir Bob Russell said there would be no justification for a bonus of about £50,000 which was paid to directors of the state-owned infrastructure company last year.

Sir Bob said that after three major problems with engineering work over-runs this summer, any bonus for this year would not be justified.

He said: “I would like to see them forfeit some of their salary, but I accept that cannot happen. However, it is totally unacceptable for them to get any bonus after this.”

A spokeswoman for Network Rail said this summer’s problems in East Anglia would not have a direct impact on the bonuses.

She said: “The bonus scheme does not measure specific pieces of work on a day-to-day basis, rather the overall delivery of our investment programme.

“That said, over-runs like the one on Tuesday caused disruption to passenger services and negatively impacts on punctuality, which is also a significant measure within the bonus scheme.”

• What do you think? Write to Norwich Evening News Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email eveningnewsletters@archant.co.uk giving your full name, address and contact details.

5 comments

  • Totally back canuk up. I travelled this line regularly in the 1970s and cannot recall lines ever being closed, decanted into buses etc. Now, under the private sector, it's chaos! And no, there is no pride in the job probably now. How can there be if you don't actually work for the railway any more but some sub-sub (and so on) contractor.

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    marty r

    Thursday, August 28, 2014

  • Hold on a mo there, George, I cannot remember engineering work over-running the time allowed and the lines being blocked, when I worked for B R. First of all, there were signal boxes, and a Token, that was used to safely control traffic through worker congested areas. Now, with all the "modern technology" and a central control room this cannot be done, or can it? How about road works that use "flagmen"? speed control signs, and caution signals?. Old railwaymen will remember all this, but unfortunately in the haste to be "Modern" this has all been forgotten, or your H and S inspectorate has gone overboard. Continuous welded rail and Mattisa tamping machines are nothing new...

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    canuk

    Thursday, August 28, 2014

  • What's this about Bonuses? That isn't the issue is it? What we are really talking about is getting the engineering work done properly and ON TIME. Then running an efficient, value for money service. Is there no sense of pride in doing well the job you are paid to do? Is there no integrity left .. ? All the rest of the wafflemeetings etc is to do with Red Herrings..

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    Patrick

    Thursday, August 28, 2014

  • Face it there can be no pleasing everyone. The public purse could have been paying the private sector workers to sit at home for half of the weekend because there was too much caution. O hang on, that is how it used to work when they were called British Rail and the workers were employed by the public sector and that was alright.

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    George Ezekial

    Thursday, August 28, 2014

  • Although it would be a massive inconvenience to many - why can't the line be closed for a month so the works could be completed all at once rather than a few bit here and a few bits there... Norwich to London can be diverted via Cambridge and the same with Ipswich... Get all the work completed at once and get the mainline up and running as it should be! Then, just maybe we could have a line that works as it is supposed to!

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    Bri_H

    Thursday, August 28, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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