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Ipswich rail chord phase 2 complete

The second part of the Ipswich rail chord was completed over Christmas, helping to remove a bottleneck on the line.

Network Rail contractor Spencer Rail Ltd demolished, removed and replaced an old steel bridge at the start of the new junction. Existing track and ballast stones were also removed and new track and junction were installed, linking the East Suffolk and London Liverpool Street to Norwich lines.

The chord will remove the need for freight to use the sidings adjacent to Ipswich station as a turning point, increasing capacity for passengers and freight. The whole project is expected to be complete by April.

Richard Schofield, route managing director, Network Rail, said: “Demand for railway travel continues to grow and this project demonstrates our commitment to invest in the railway to support growth.

“It is vital that we create additional capacity alongside other enhancements along the cross country route between Felixstowe and Nuneaton. This is a key part of our plans to take more freight off roads and onto rail and is good news for the region’s economy.”

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Ricp   10/01/2014 at 07:44

Now we need to double and electrify the Felixstowe branch. This would enable container trains continuing towards London to be electrically hauled for all or at least a significant part of their journey. This should be the springing of point for electrification from Haughley Junction to Ely and Peterborough, as urged by GBRF's John Smith. This would then be extended to Leicester and Nuneaton, to link the Midland and West Coast routes, and on to Birmingham. Operators consider this a more urgent option than Southampton to Oxford and Coventry, as the Haven Ports are growing faster.

Nonsuchmike   10/01/2014 at 13:28

Totally agree with Ricp. Much larger vessels have been arriving @ Felixstowe and Harwich, so the need for line dualling and extra work @ Ely is not only vital but imperative. They do say that there are none so blind as those who do not want to see sense.

John Grant   11/01/2014 at 19:33

Electrification would allow EMUs to be used for Birmingham - Stansted and Ipswich - Peterborough, too.

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