Woodbridge train services

The trains ( timetable http://www.carlberry.co.uk/rfnshowr.asp?RN=BR011J)

have been fairly reliable in recent years but suffers from there being a two hour wait between trains whether travelling north to Lowestoft or South to Saxmundham. From December 2010 there should be an hourly service between Ipswich and Saxmundham, but we are likely to pay for this with the discomfort of no longer having direct London trains.

I am on the Rail Travel policy group and am pressing to have a couple of these through trains retained if possible at peak times.

2 thoughts on “Woodbridge train services”

  1. I have a problem when using the trains through Ipswich and down to London on a Sunday (which I often do). On most weekends the Ipswich-London train services have replacement buses for part of the journey, while engineering work is done. This is a particular problem for me as I take a bicycle on the train, but it is a large inconvenience for all travellers on Sundays.

    Has Suffolk County council asked the rail service providers to look at alternative ways of doing the work? Overnight? Using single track working on double tracks if this is possible? How do other countries in Europe get around this problem? I’ve noticed that the Sunday engineering is usually suspended in the three summer months. Is that because we are worried about what overseas visitors may think of us?

  2. Hi. I really sympathise with your concerns about these matters. Apart from anything else, they impact on everyone in Woodbridge, including me!

    I don’t know if you know, but the current rail operator’s franchise is finishing and the Depertment of Transport is tendering for new operators. As I’m (luckily) a member of the Suffolk Rail Policy group we established a week or two back a ‘wishlist’ of things SCC want the Department of Transport to consider when new rail service providers tender for these services.

    Amongst other issues important to local rail users, I was forceful on the subject of the replacement buses and the fact that the rail company fails to ensure they carry everything the passenger gets on the train with. For example, there are cases of passengers putting a bike on the London train at Ipswich and being told by the replacement bus at Shenfield that they do not carry bikes. Ridiculous, mad and disgraceful. And no way to give the passenger any confidence in what the rail operator is doing.

    As regards WHY rail service providers have to use Sundays for works when the rest of the world can run a service 24/7, we questioned this and were given lots of apparently valid reasons. However I don’t understand why these are so UK-specific – they don’t seem to apply elsewhere.

    Personally, I feel that the useful operational gap between track and train providers allows all sorts of excuses to fall between the two.

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