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Written by Brian Carter - 27 Jun 2004
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Location notes
Reedham, Norfolk, not far from Great Yarmouth. On the Norwich to Lowestoft line.
Railway type and traffic
The usual service is Norwich-Lowestoft local service, about 1 per hour each way Mon-Sat (1 each way every 2 hours on Sun), worked by Greater Anglia class 150, 153 and 170 DMUs. During very busy times (eg the Lowestoft Air Show on a Thursday and Friday at the end of July / beginning of August) there are additional loco-hauled workings, worked top-and-tail on full length Greater Anglia Intercity sets. Occasional freight - class 66 on OBA wagons, the Aberdeen-Lowestoft "mudstone" (used drill heads from oil rigs which have the oil removed at Lowestoft).
A road bridge over the railway on the edge of the village, next to houses. The locals are very friendly (and might even come out to see the train if it is a special one).
Road directions
From the A47(T) from Norwich:
Leave at the Acle (B1140) junction, but turn right at the roundabout (over the railway line, past the station) rather than going into the village. Follow the B1140 through Freethorpe, then follow the 'joint' directions below.

From the A47(T) from Great Yarmouth:
Turn left at the Stracey Arms (by a windmill) onto an unclassified road which goes over the parallel railway line (this is the first turn after leaving Great Yarmouth), and follow this road through Halvergate towards Freethorpe on the B1140; turn left towards Reedham, then follow the 'joint' directions below.

Joint directions:
at the edge of Reedham (near the start of the 30mph limit and the village sign) turn left (signed 'Zoo'), then take the 2nd right. This crosses the railway line on a bridge at Reedham Junction, and about 0.5 miles further on crosses it again - this is the location.

An alternative location is from the quayside: at the edge of Reedham village continue straight on, crossing the railway line at the station. Immediately after this there are two left turns (plus the station car park entrance); take the more gentle of these (the 2nd one) and follow this road down to the quayside: the road turns sharp left and then take the right fork immediately after. There is also a road which leads up to the bridge over the railway.

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Reedham Swing Bridge map co-ordinates
Park at the road side, close to where you will take the photos from.
Public transport
Walk from Reedham station (only half the trains call there) - about 0.75 miles. Take the 2nd of the two left hand turns off the road over the bridge (see road directions); this road turns sharp left, and then forks: take the right hand fork to the quayside, or go straight on for the bridge looking over the railway. There is a short road linking the two locations if you want to swap.

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There may be a few small shops in Reedham village, but it is a small village.
The 'Railway Tavern' by the station does Bed and Breakfast - Tel. (01493) 700340.
Sun Compass
Sun Compass using Suncalc by brought to you by Vladimir Agafonkin:
It might be necessary to adjust the time to suit your visit, this link should open with the current day.
Reedham Swing Bridge

Googly map
Streetmap links
Reedham Swing Bridge general view map
Reedham Swing Bridge close up map

Windows Local Live Link - image quality may vary
Reedham Swing Bridge

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Railway Gen Group
Anglia Gen
Photographic notes
The best shot is looking south from the road bridge, of a train crossing the swing bridge, ideally coming towards you (from Lowestoft). The light is right for this in the morning, but the sun is only on the nose until about 10.00. A standard or short telephoto lens is the most useful.
Looking the other way, it is rather head-on and the line curves quite sharply to the left; the shot is not as good, but does feature a semaphore distant. However, the bridge to the east of the Reedham station is a much better location for trains to Lowestoft.

The shot from the quayside is side-on, of trains crossing the swing bridge. There may be some boats moored to add to the composition. The sun is right in the afternoon. Watch out that the bridge itself and the signalbox (which is in the middle of the bridge on the west side) will obscure part of the train.

Both roads are very quiet, so videographers would be unlucky to suffer from traffic noise. From the bridge you can see the line (and trains) for a couple of miles along the other side of the river (although some trees will get in the way). Trains cross the swing bridge slowly, and the bridge is also regularly swung to allow river traffic to pass.

General views - All photographs © Brian Carter unless otherwise stated
Fig 1 - Looking south

Fig 1 - Looking south

A Lowestoft-Norwich working at around 11.30 on 31st July 2003.

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