- Lowestoft railway station
Infobox UK station
name = Lowestoft
code = LWT
National Express East Anglia
usage0405 = 0.245
usage0506 = 0.226
usage0607 = 0.248
platforms = 3
The station is owned by Network Rail and served by
National Express East Anglia. All services are operated by diesel multiple units of Classes 153, 156 or 170. Some services are operated direct to London Liverpool Streetvia the East Suffolk Lineusing new Turbostar units.
Strategic Rail Authorityusage figures (2003) Lowestoft is after Ipswich the most used station in Suffolk, with busy commuter traffic to Norwich and to a lesser extent to Ipswich. Up until the late 1960's the station was busier still with regular extra direct express trains for holiday makers in the summer from London and elsewhere (see British Rail Eastern Region timetable 1966) and local services to Great Yarmouth (withdrawn in 1970).
The station was built in 1855 by the Lucas Brothers. It is a fine example of their work which amongst other outstanding buildings include the Royal Albert Hall. Much of the original historical structure remains albeit now sadly neglected and hidden under badly maintained boardings. It lost many of its facilities in 1992 (including its overall roof and WH Smith bookshop). It retains one of the last original
British Railenamel signs in situ on its frontage (see photograph) proudly declaring "British Railways - Lowestoft Central". The "Central" was to distinguish the station from Lowestoft North on the line to Great Yarmouth South Town which was closed in 1970.
The withdrawal of the Great Yarmouth service and closure of that line saw the removal of the rails into platform 1. That section of the trackbed now forms part of the car park. Platforms 2 & 3 are still in daily use. Platform 4 is still available but not used for daily services. The platforms were not renumbered with the removal of platform 1. Hence why Lowestoft has no platform 1 at this time. There are sidings to the station which are used occasionally. Although they no longer cross station square into the docks. There was substantial goods yard activity here historically although most of that has gone but can still be evidenced somewhat as many of the rusted lines are still present or embedded into concrete.
The Waveney Executive Summary (2008) advises that the station may be moved 350 Metres at the cost of £10 million. Unlike many towns in Great Britain Lowestoft's station is centrally placed at the heart of the town with easy access to the beach and attractions. However, the town centre would also be relocated keeping the station close to that, albeit further from the beach front.
Lowestoft station made an unusual appearance in the horror story 'Wrong Side of the Tracks' from the book 'Ghosts Far From Subtle', after author Joe Rattigan was inspired on the Lowestoft to Norwich line to write one of his many Suffolk-based ghost stories.
The facilities at Lowestoft are rather basic and include:-
* Ticket office (open from 06:40 - 17:05 on weekdays, 06:40 - 17:05 on Saturdays and from 08:00 - 16:15 on Sundays)
* Waiting shelters
* Stands for bicycles
* Pay and Display car park
* Taxi rank
On weekdays, the station sees an hourly service to Norwich, with an extra service in the morning peak. The services tend to be irregularly timed, although commonly depart at either :42 or :50 minutes past each hour during the day. The final service usually departs at approximately 23:30. Norwich trains usually depart from platform 3. The Saturday service is much the same as during the week, however the Sunday service is only every 2 hours, departing at :50 minutes past each hour, except the final train of the day, which departs at 23:25. The journey time is on average 40 minutes. [Wherry Lines timetable]
The service to Ipswich, via the
East Suffolk Line, runs every 2 hours usually at :58 minutes past. All, with the exception of the first and last trains of the day, run through to London Liverpool Street. These trains usually depart from platform 2, nearest the ticket office. Sunday services are again every 2 hours, but depart at :05 minutes past each hour from the first train at 08:05 to the last at 20:05. Sunday trains only run as far as Ipswich. The average journey times to Ipswich is, 1 hour 30 minutes; to London Liverpool Street it is hour 2 hours 7 minutes. [National Express East Anglia timetable 18]
[http://alanmoore353.blokes.org.uk/p51399599.html Webpage including picture of the station in 1980]
Disused Rail Start
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