Huge progress made on the Felixstowe branch line to increase freight traffic and improve reliability for passengers: Felixstowe S&C installation 3

Friday 28 Dec 2018

Huge progress made on the Felixstowe branch line to increase freight traffic and improve reliability for passengers

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Rail engineers have worked over the festive period on the Felixstowe branch line as part of Network Rail’s £60m project to install a new 1.4km loop near Trimley which will enable increased freight traffic and improve reliability for passenger services.

As well as upgrading the signalling power system, three new track crossings, which enable trains to switch from one track to another, have been installed as part of the work to provide 1.4km of extra railway line between Trimley and Gun Lane, enabling the running of trains on the new railway in mid 2019.

The new track will support up to 10 additional freight trains in each direction per day, moving goods to and from the Port of Felixstowe. Passengers will also benefit from improved reliability for existing services between Felixstowe and Ipswich.

With each additional freight train taking the equivalent of up to 76 lorries off the roads, the upgrade works will help to reduce congestion and pollution for the local community and the wider region. The work also includes upgrades to four road level crossings between Trimley and Westerfield which will improve public safety while allowing more trains to run on the line.

Across the country, a 25,000-strong workforce are working more than 380,000 hours to keep the railway open and deliver 330 projects.

The work is being completed at the quietest time for rail travel on the country’s railway with around half the normal number of passengers travelling compared to the 4.7 million who typically use the network daily.

Meliha Duymaz, Network Rail’s route managing director for Anglia, said: “We have used the quieter Christmas period to progress this new section of track which will improve the strategic freight network as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan. This work is essential to increase the number of freight services using the railway while also improving reliability for passengers.”

Further works are taking place across the region’s rail network until Wednesday 2nd January, including installing a new overhead wiring system at Forest Gate on the line from London to Norwich to improve reliability and reduce delays and cancellations. Passengers are advised to check before they travel at

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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 4.8 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.

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