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Station could have had six platforms

PUBLISHED: 10:19 13 February 2010 | UPDATED: 16:41 30 June 2010

Newly discovered documents reveal Great Yarmouth was poised for a massive railway renaissance that would have added a new six platform station, closed all the others including the currently unloved Vauxhall Station, and changed the face of the town.

Newly discovered documents reveal Great Yarmouth was poised for a massive railway renaissance that would have added a new six platform station, closed all the others including the currently unloved Vauxhall Station, and changed the face of the town.

The documents, described as “very significant” detail two little-known schemes conceived in 1943 to radically overhaul the town's rail and road network with a new river crossing north of Haven Bridge.

Plan A shows a new Central Station as a through station, south of the suspension bridge roughly where the Seafood Restaurant stands today, closing Vauxhall, Southtown and Beach stations and operating on a loop with new sidings and goods yards.

Meanwhile a cheaper plan B envisaged Central Station as a terminus station, close to where Southtown Station stood, also closing Vauxhall and Beach stations.

Paul Jary, of Hamilton Road, Great Yarmouth, said the discovery had stunned the railway world. The 54-year-old former railwayman said he did not know if the plans had ever been published or were top secret, but said their significance resonated today as the town clamoured for action over Vauxhall Station described this month by Joint Line, the journal of the Midland and Great Northern joint railway society which reported on the discovery, as “an abomination.”

“As far as I am concerned it is very significant,” he said. “It would have been a major development for the town. This was a wartime plan which never happened because of financial cut backs. It is a fascinating story.”

According to Joint Line the category D scheme was only on a “wish list” of schemes put forward for consideration that probably lost out to unfinished pre-war works in the north.

The plans to amalgamate the three stations into one new station with greater travel and interchange opportunities were discovered when Eurostar vacated Waterloo and Network Rail had to move out of the arches underneath. The archives are being microfilmed before the originals are sent to the National Railway Museum.

Meanwhile Front Line reporters concluded that even a trimmed version of the scheme would have saved “the expense of rebuilding the abomination that became and remains Vauxhall.”

As it was Beach Station closed on February 29 1959 and Southtown closed May 4, 1970.

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