Rail freight

16.08.18

Go-ahead for Felixstowe branch line upgrade to boost freight capacity

Network Rail has been given permission to build a new bridleway bridge across the Felixstowe branch which will provide a safe public route across the railway and enable more goods to be moved by freight.

Engineering works to upgrade the branch line have already begun, building the space needed for 1.4km of extra track to be laid between Trimley and the level crossing at Gun Lane as part of a £60.4m investment.

Meliha Duymaz, Network Rail’s route managing director for Anglia, said: “This is a significant milestone in increasing freight services and improving reliability for passengers as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan.

“While closing level crossings to improve safety is always challenging, the bridge will provide a safer connection to the countryside for the community.”

The new bridge will be built on the site of the existing Gun Lane crossing and will provide passage across the railway to the surrounding countryside for walkers, cyclists and horse-riders. This allows Network Rail to close down six pedestrian level crossings in the area.

The contractor, VolkerFitzpatrick, will now begin building the new structure which will support up to 10 additional trains in each direction to move goods to and from the Port of Felixtowe. Each freight train added to the line takes the equivalent of up to 76 lorries off the roads, so the upgrade works will help reduce congestion and pollution in the area.

Paul McMahon, Network Rail’s managing director for freight and national passenger operators, said: “This is really positive news for the freight industry and we can now focus on delivering this vital upgrade.

“Joint funded by the Strategic Freight Network, which represents the interests of the wider freight industry, we recognise that this is the key to economic growth not only in the East of England but for the UK as a whole.”

Image credit - BeyondImages

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