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Norwich City vs Ipswich Town fixture looks set to clash with major rail engineering works

PUBLISHED: 17:34 26 June 2014 | UPDATED: 17:34 26 June 2014

Archant © 2012

Canaries fans face a rail replacement bus mission to Portman Road for the first Old Farm Derby of the season.

The fixture was originally scheduled for Saturday, August 23 when the initial Football League fixtures were announced earlier this month.

But it appears set to be moved to the Sunday - clashing with major engineering work on the London Liverpool Street to Norwich line.

Network Rail has scheduled track renewals in the Ipswich area, with buses replacing trains between Colchester, Manningtree, Ipswich and Stowmarket from the start of service.

There will also be overhead line renewals taking place between Ilford and Shenfield, with buses replacing trains between Shenfield and Ilford until 8am on the Sunday.

A Network Rail spokesman said engineering works would not be moved.

“As part of our ongoing investment to improve the railway we are replacing the track in the Ipswich area on Sunday, August 24,” the spokesman said. “This work involves specialist engineers and equipment and was planned months in advance and before any football fixtures had been set.

“As a result of the work, there will be changes to services so we advise passengers who are travelling on that day to check with Abellio Greater Anglia or the National Rail Enquiries website.”

A spokesman for train operator Greater Anglia said the firm would be in contact with Norwich City and the police about how to offer the “best possible service”.

The date is set to follow the pattern of most recent derby fixtures, with a Sunday kick-off, most likely around lunchtime, due to advice from police.

The two clubs will meet for the first time since City’s 5-1 victory at Portman Road in April 2011.

Before that, the last 16 East Anglian derbies had been played with a Sunday lunchtime kick-off since the autumn of 1998 – when Norwich won 1-0.

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