Monday 2 Oct 2017
Green light for major upgrade to increase freight services and improve reliability on the Felixstowe branch line
A £60.4m scheme to increase freight services and create a more reliable railway for passengers travelling between Ipswich and Felixstowe has been given the green light by the Secretary of State for Transport and the Port of Felixstowe.
The project will see a second track installed between Trimley station and Grimston Lane foot crossing on the Felixstowe branch line. This will allow up to 47 freight trains to run per day, 14 more trains than can currently run on the single line. Each train can carry the equivalent of 60 lorry loads, meaning fewer lorries on busy roads such as the A14.
Network Rail is delivering the project which will enable more goods to be transported by rail, supporting the growth of the UK economy, as part of its Railway Upgrade Plan. In the coming months, engineers will start clearing vegetation in preparation for building the second track.
Meliha Duymaz, Network Rail’s route managing director for Anglia, said: “We’re improving the Felixstowe branch line to provide a step change for rail freight in Suffolk and beyond as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan. We’re supporting the growth of the UK economy by enabling more goods to be transported on the railway and reducing the number of lorries on the road. The work will also create a safer and more reliable railway for passengers travelling between Ipswich and Felixstowe.”
The project will bring about a step change for the railway in the east, paving the way for potential improvements to the cross country line, and is funded through the Strategic Freight Network, with a contribution from Hutchison Ports UK.
Network Rail also submitted a TWAO application earlier this year to close six level crossings as part of the project. A public inquiry will be held early next year. Four level crossings will also be upgraded.
About Network Rail
We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.
Every day, there are more than 4.7 million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.
We are building a better railway for a better Britain.