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  Oulton Broad South
  Wickham Market
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A full list of routes covered by Dudley Mall appears at the bottom of this page.

Wheels: LI.  If you're on wheels, see our Easy Access page for explanation.
goodbye at Beccles
Saying goodbye to the grandkids at Beccles. Much of the freight has disappeared from this easternmost route in the country, but the line remains useful for commuting and social activities.

Lowestoft photo Lowestoft plan
Lowestoft station lost its original overall roof in 1992, leaving it with a sense of incompleteness. That apart, its facilities are quite reasonable, with a ticket foyer that includes a newsagent/snack shop, covered space there, and video train information and a shelter out on the platform concourse. There are also small canopies over several doorways, but we can still imagine this being rather a bleak place in winter once you left the entrance foyer. The station still has three platforms out of its original four - platform 1 being the absentee. This has had its track lifted to increase the quantity of pay-and-display parking alongside the station, accessed from Denmark Road. There are currently 50 spaces. Access to the station for wheelchair users seems to be relatively trouble-free.
Wheels: LI.

Lowestoft also serves the Norwich to Lowestoft route

Oulton Broad South OULTON BROAD SOUTH We have not yet visited this station, so these notes make use of third-party sources and may contain errors. The station has been single-tracked but retains its original main building. It is reached from a slip road off Beccles Road, at the point where it becomes Bridge Road (the latter probably named for a viaduct over a former level crossing). The approach road appears to have parking for about 10 cars, and the station has 4 free spaces for rail users. The station is unstaffed but reportedly has step-free access. The traditional station building retains its canopy with seats below it, and video train information is provided.
Wheels: LI.

Be aware that there is also a station nearby called Oulton Broad North. But this is on a different line, serving Lowestoft to Norwich.

Beccles Plan
Beccles station is at the north-east end of the town, close to the A145. The station building is closed and the station itself was reduced from a bay and three through platforms to just one. This meant that the overbridge which at one time served the island platform ceased to have utility for the station, and now goes only to playing fields beyond.
Beccles, looking towards Ipswich
The photo shows the station in this state. However, as part of the line speed-up process, 2012 saw the reclamation of the lost platform and a new loop line laid alongside it to give the route an extra passing place. As yet we don't know how the second platform is reached, but a foot crossing close to the station building seems likely. When we visited at an earlier date, the station platform offered a large but somewhat shelterless shelter - with a roof and seats but little in the way of sides for a weather-break. A video display provides train information, and tubs of flowers provide some decoration. The official figure for parking was 8 spaces before the new work. We don't know if this figure was enhanced. Our thanks to Andrew Berry for updating our information. In common with our other plans, the track plan has been straightened, and the photo supports this impression. In reality the station has a pronounced curve. Wheels: LI.

Brampton plan

Brampton's reason for survival isn't obvious on first sight though it could well relate to rural access.
Brampton looking north
It's named for Brampton, presumably as this was once expected to be the nearest significant population, but in reality it is located just south of Redisham. It is single track and therefore has a single platform with trains going in either direction. Station Road, which runs almost from Brampton to Redisham is a long country road that is not too wide in places and has drivers who may not expect to meet anyone else without prior introduction. It crosses the line at a level crossing which is well-endowed with warning lights, but has no gates; a moment's inattention could catch you out, so take care. The station has train information, cycle parking, a help phone and even a postbox, but its essential feature is a small modern shelter. On the opposite side of the line there are 5-6 parking spaces. All trains are now stop-on-request, so hold out your hand if you wish to catch a train. Wheels: LI.

Halesworth station Halesworth planHalesworth is just a short walk from the town centre. It still retains its original buildings (just peeking in on the right) on the Lowestoft platform, though they are now used as a museum for the station and there is no ticket office. Halesworth's claim to fame is its level crossing. This has now been permanently closed but you can still just about see how instead of having normal gates, parts of the platform (the metal and wood sections in the foreground) used to pivot across the tracks to ensure road traffic safety, whilst also providing a temporary trolley bridge between the two platforms. We remember (many years ago) seeing this occur. We would guess that there was a site problem when the station was built (or extended), forcing the railway to carry its platforms across the road to get the length it needed. However, the platform extension beyond the crossing (behind the camera) is now out of service.

Beyond the swing section to the left is the Bramblewood Way level entrance to the platform, with the first of two modern shelters nearby. The second is in the midst of flowers down near the red bullseye sign that marks the footboard crossing with press-to-cross and warning light protection. The main station building still retains its canopy and seats beneath for passengers and at near right there is a zigzag ramp down to the forecourt. There is also an easier access at the far end of the building through the curtain wall. The station forecourt has free parking for about 15 rail users' cars, all of it on a slope. Across the access road there is a path that offers a step-free route to the Ipswich platform. We didn't check out how far it took you, since the station's ramp and footboard will probably serve most people well enough. Take note that the platforms are bi-directional, so check which one your train leaves from. Wheels: LI.

Darsham plan

North from the level crossing. The access to the Ipswich platform is just off picture to the right.
Darsham station
Darsham station is a mile from its namesake village and a similar distance from Yoxford. It stands on Main Road, better known as the A12, which means the road and the level crossing are busy. The station building is now in commercial use, so passengers only have the platform, the canopy and a few seats on the Lowestoft side. The Ipswich platform has a shelter about midway along it (a canopy stretched between two small brick buildings) and there is a bench a little further along the platform. It also has a video train information system. There is no ticket office, though a hut on the easy approach to the second platform suggests that there might have been one for a while after the main building was sold off. There is a forecourt by the former station building for parking, but this seems to be for the local companies. However, there is a parking area for about 20 cars on the opposite side of the road, and it's free to rail users. Wheels: LI.

SAXMUNDHAM Saxmundham plan Saxmundham station
Saxmundham station is signed off the B1119 as that road dog-legs round the centre, and is just a short walk west from the High Street along Station Approach. It sits by a level crossing. Its original station building and canopy remain intact on the Ipswich-bound platform, with seating under the canopy and beyond it. The station is unstaffed and the ticket office has gone, but there is still a waiting room. We omitted to check wheelchair access to the interior, but it is either stepless or about 1 step different from the car park outside, and the same to the platform. There is an alternative external ramp to the platform as well. This side of the station has parking for 15-20 cars, but there is an additional pay-and-display area of similar capacity at the back of the official car park. The Lowestoft platform is approached by an easy ramp that runs round the back of what looks like the gate-keeper's cabin before it reaches the platform itself. Any original buildings have now gone and a small modern shelter provides the sole shelter available, though there is a small bench outside for when the sun shines. Wheels: LI.

Andrew Berry of Ipswich has forwarded a number of much-appreciated updates to stations described on this page, and points out that Saxmundham once had a swing platform crossing similar to Halesworth above. Chris Smith adds that the platforms were staggered until the 1960s, then a locomotive hit the swing section, possibly while shunting. What remained of the platform was too short and the swing bridge was an increasing nuisance, so the current parallel platform was built instead.

Wickham Market planWICKHAM MARKET We have not yet visited Wickham Market station, so these notes make use of third-party sources and may contain errors. The most important point is that the station is not in Wickham at all, but about 1.5 miles east along the B1078 at the village of Campsea Ashe (which seems to delight in variant spellings). The former station building is now in other use, but there is a car park for about 14 cars + 1 disabled space in front of it, and the platform entrance is around the south side of the building along what appears to be a level access. Until the 1980s the station was double tracked with staggered platforms. The old Ipswich platform shown on the plan has now been removed. Only the one adjacent to the station building is now active, and even that has been cut back in length. The canopy was also removed, with a medium-sized bus shelter with a bench seat provided in its stead. Train information is a timetable board. Finally, a local history site reported in 2005 that the station had a new sign advising it was now "Campsea Ashe for Wickham Market". This may be true on the platform (we don't know), but the double arrow sign in the car park still said "Wickham Market" in early 2008 - and so did the 2008 rail timetable. Wheels: LI.

Melton plan MELTON We have not yet visited Melton station, so these notes make use of third-party sources and may contain errors. The station lies in the corner of right-angle formed by the A1152 (Wilford Bridge Road) as it cranks east-south-east to leap over the railway, then over the River Deben. At high tide, the river gets very close to the station itself. There is parking in the station forecourt (though apparently only for 5 cars). The station building survives but is now used by traders, and Andrew Berry confirms there is no ticket office. Platform access is achieved by a path round the south side of the building. We cannot guarantee it, but we believe the path gives reasonably level access. The building has retained its canopy with seating below it, so there is no separate shelter. Train information is on a timetable board. The station was formerly double tracked, but one track has been removed. The main platform has been reduced in active length and the opposite platform shown on the plan has now been removed. Wheels: LI.

Woodbridge plan WOODBRIDGE We have not yet visited Woodbridge station, so these notes make use of third-party sources and may contain errors. Woodbridge station is close enough to the River Deben to swim in it - and in the 1953 floods it did just that. For the most part it is safely dry but very much rubbing shoulders with the watery community. It sits in what is now a group of enterprises sharing a common entrance from Station Road. Each of these seems to have its own parking, but there is pay-and-display parking available to railway users. The station is unstaffed but houses a tourist information centre which can sell train tickets during the day. Woodbridge is where double track resumes, so it has two canopied platforms linked by an overbridge. These have benches under cover and video train information. Wheeled users can get to the Ipswich platform from the nearby level crossing, as shown on our plan. Wheels: LI.
Chris Smith kindly informs us (late 2010) that the old station building on the northbound platform has an excellent cafe.

Westerfield plan WESTERFIELD We have not yet visited Westerfield station, so these notes make use of third-party sources and may contain errors. The station meets Westerfield Road (the B1077) at quite a sharp angle, with the road protected by a half barrier level crossing. A building on the Ipswich side of the line is so tightly scrunched up to the platform that it surely was a railway building at one time, but the station is unstaffed now. The station has stepfree ramps from road to platform level. There is a small bus shelter on the Lowestoft platform, and Andrew Berry has advised us that there is one on the other side, though it is not obvious from the road. Both sides have seats. So far as we are aware, there is no provision for parking. He adds that train services are now (early 2013) 3 trains each way on Monday to Friday; 1 to Ipswich on Saturdays, and 7 on Sundays. The Felixstowe service (see below) still calls.

Westerfield is the also branching point for the line from Ipswich to Felixstowe (covered below). From the track layout and a brief film we have seen, it is likely that the Westerfield platforms are worked bi-directionally, so be sure to check which platform your train leaves from. Wheels: LI.

Ipswich plan IPSWICH We have not yet visited this station: the drawing and the following notes are from fragments elsewhere and must be regarded as approximate only. The station is on the south side of the River Gipping, where Princes Street crosses it to meet Ranelagh Road and Burrell Road (B1073). This is a major regional station with four platforms and is staffed at all times, with tickets available from early morning to late evening, and news/food during daytime. It retains its traditional buildings and canopies, and access to the platforms is by stepped overbridge. Wheelchair users will need staff assistance to use a footboard crossing at the east end of the station, as it is their only way across and close to a tunnel mouth (many freight trains pass through the station at speed). Outside there is disabled and 20-minute parking, with a multi-storey car park nearby. Wheels: 1/2/3/4

Ipswich also serves the Ipswich to Norwich & Cambridge route

   Ipswich to Felixstowe Line

Derby Road plan DERBY ROAD We have not yet visited Derby Road station, so these notes make use of third-party sources and may contain errors. Derby Road's station building still stands but is now closed up and there is only a bus shelter on each platform, with timetable boards for train information. Both platforms have ramp access from Derby Road. The railway company does not offer parking. The station yard is now a car dealership, and we are advised that unauthorised parking may result in clamping. The wheels rating assumes nearby parking is possible, but this may not be the case. Wheels: IF
   Trimley plan TRIMLEY We have not yet visited Trimley station, so these notes make use of third-party sources and may contain errors. Trimley station stands at a level crossing on Station Road in Trimley St. Mary. The passenger overbridge is doubled (i.e. 4 staircases) to allow pedestrians to cross the line when the gates are closed to road traffic. However, the Ipswich platform is closed, so that staircase is sealed. The station is unstaffed and has no waiting rooms, but it does have step-free access, seating on the platforms and video train information. Outside the main building is parking for 25 or so cars, free for rail users, and with entry from there to the platform. Our thanks to Andrew Berry for corrections to our original entry. Wheels: IF.

   Felixstowe plan FELIXSTOWE We have not yet visited Felixstowe station, so these notes make use of third-party sources and may contain errors. Felixstowe station is on Station Approach, off High Road West, just west of that road's junction with the A1021. The one platform is canopied with seating below it, so you can stay out of the rain; and there is video train information. The station is unstaffed but apparently has step-free access for wheeled users. There is parking nearby for the local shopping centre, but none is specifically for rail users. Wheels: IF.

Please note: the notes and sketches are intended only to give a general impression, and should not be relied upon for more than that. Dudley Mall accepts no liability for errors, but will correct any significant ones notified to us through or by post to Dudley Mall, 62 Gervase Drive, Dudley, West Midlands DY1 4AT.

Routes and Resources Table: Front Information Page Birmingham All-Stations Map
  Central Region Routes Map Full Routes Scroll Map
Stations A-Z      
Birmingham New Street Station
Birmingham - Cheltenham & Bristol
Birmingham - Coventry & London Euston
Birmingham - Derby & Nottingham
Birmingham - Kidderminster & Worcester
Birmingham - Leamington Spa
Birmingham - Leicester
Birmingham - Lichfield
Birmingham - Redditch & Worcester
Birmingham - Rugeley
Birmingham - Stratford-upon-Avon
Bristol - Exeter
Cheltenham Spa - Cardiff
Chester - Hereford & Cardiff
Chester - Llandudno
Crewe - Shrewsbury
Crewe & Stoke - Wolverhampton & Birmingham
Derby & Nottingham - Bedford & London
Ipswich - Cambridge & Norwich
Leamington Spa - London
Leamington Spa - Oxford
Leicester - Cambridge
Lowestoft - Ipswich & Felixstowe
Manchester - Crewe via M. Airport
Manchester - Crewe via Stockport
Norwich - Cambridge
Norwich - Great Yarmouth
Norwich - Lowestoft
Norwich - Sheringham
Nottingham - Grantham
Oxford - Bicester
Shrewsbury - Llandrindod
Stafford - Rugby via Trent Valley
Stoke-on-Trent - Derby      
Walsall - Shrewsbury
Worcester - Hereford
Worcester - Oxford
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