For enthusiasts and researchers of the Great Eastern Railway
NEW MARCH 2017. British Railways planned to close the entire East Suffolk line to passenger travel. As part of that process they issued this book in July 1965, entitled 'Heads of Information in connection with the proposal to withdraw passenger services between Ipswich and Lowestoft Central and between Saxmundham and Aldeburgh'. It explained what impact this might have on the travelling public, though it is not clear exactly who the intended recipients were.
There is a large map of the whole line drawn to a scale of half an inch to a mile. It also shows all the roads in the neighbourhood and indicates the buses which currently ran along them. Westerfield was to remain open, served by Felixstowe trains, but beyond that every station from Woodbridge to Oulton Broad South and the entire Aldeburgh branch were due to be closed.
The rest of the document is in typescript. Apart from one brief statement which shows the annual loss made, it is not concerned with the financial consequences to the railway. Instead it gives information about the patterns of travel at the time, and how these would be affected by the closure.
Appendix A provides the full current railway timetable on weekdays, on Saturdays and on Sundays. Appendix B contains a detailed train-by-train census of the passengers joining and alighting at each stop. This was carried out in October 1964 and gives the results for a typical weekday, a Saturday and a Sunday. Appendix C is a traffic analysis from a Tuesday and a Saturday in November 1964: this shows the total number of passengers joining at each station with a breakdown of their eventual destination, and the number alighting plus where they had come from.
Appendix D describes the existing bus services available. Most were run by Eastern Counties (services 2 to 285), but the Grey-Green route up the A12 was also there and even C E Naylor's single run every Tuesday from Halesworth to Ipswich and back was not overlooked. For each service the tabulated data includes how close they passed to railway stations, how many journeys they made each day (all seven days are listed) and what the average gap in time was between successive runs. Appendix E provides a huge timetable with all the main points from Ipswich to Lowestoft included, showing how they were served by existing buses - most entries covered only a part of the route, of course. For each journey the service number of the bus is given, and so too are the days of the week it operated. This appendix ends with timtables giving the additional summer-only bus services.
Appendix F gives the timetable for a proposed new limited stop rail-replacement bus service between Ipswich and Lowestoft. There would be connections at Ipswich with the London trains and at Saxmundham with the Aldeburgh buses.
Finally Appendix G assesses how the proposed changes would affect passengers. Several typical journeys are given, with the present time taken by train and the time by bus currently and as planned. The fares are also compared, both day return and monthly season tickets.
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