Latest Rail News

15.11.12

Nuneaton North Chord opened

A new freight line has been officially opened, linking the Nuneaton – Felixstowe route to the West Coast Main Line.

The Nuneaton North Chord was launched by transport minister Simon Burns yesterday, after the first train ran from Harpenden to Basford Hall on October 21.

The £28.3m project saw 0.9 miles of new track laid to allow trains to travel through Nuneaton station without affecting passenger services, reducing disruption and improving reliability.

The project is part of a long-term investment programme on the Nuneaton – Felixstowe route, which aims to reduce up to 750,000 lorries from the roads each year by 2030.

The entire route between the Port of Felixstowe and Nuneaton can now be used by freight trains carrying the larger 9’6” or ‘high-cube’ containers increasingly used by global shipping companies.

This will enable freight trains to travel directly to the economic markets in West Midlands and north-west England without having to travel through north London, which they currently do.

Network Rail, the DfT and the EU’s TEN-T programme co-funded the new line.

Burns said: “It is Government investment schemes like the Nuneaton Chord that are helping power up our recovery and boost economic growth.

“The Chord unlocks a real rail freight revolution with bigger containers now being taken straight from the Port of Felixstowe and transported by rail directly to the West Midlands and beyond.”

Tim Robinson, director of freight at Network Rail, said: “Britain relies on rail freight and this scheme is crucial because Nuneaton North Chord is a key part of our plans to improve freight capacity on the railway – one of the greenest methods of transporting goods. This chord not only frees up space on the network, but creates a more reliable railway for passengers and takes hundreds of thousands of lorries off the roads.”

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