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North Doncaster Chord consent a ‘significant step’ for ECML upgrade

Network Rail has welcomed the Government go-ahead for the North Doncaster Chord, a key East Coast Main Line upgrade. 

The £45m flyover at Shaftholme will take slow freight trains from the Humber ports up and over the ECML, rather than across and along it, feeing up capacity. 

It is part of the wider set of CP4 ECML upgrade works, costing around £600m, such as the Hitchin Flyover (see RTM August/September 2012), the GNGE route upgrade (see RTM Feb/March 2012), and platform 0 at King’s Cross (see RTM April/May 2010). 

As with the Hitchin project, Network Rail has entered into an alliance with the principal contractor to deliver the work. Morgan Sindall is the partner for the North Doncaster Chord works, which should be complete by early 2014. 

Phil Verster, route managing director at Network Rail, said: “The Government’s decision to grant permission for the North Doncaster Chord is a significant step forward in improving capacity and reliability on the busy East Coast Main Line.” 

Transport secretary Patrick McLoughlin granted consent for the North Doncaster Chord on 16 October. It underwent 12 months of consultation before being submitted to the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) on 22 June 2011.


Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at [email protected]


Iain   12/01/2014 at 08:35

Why go to all this expense? There is already a bridge across the ECML at this point. Trains from Immingham can access the Askern line if a new link was built from just to the west of the existing bridge, curving to the north towards the Askern line. So this boondoggle has built an expensive viaduct over the ECML and a road bridge over the ECML, when there's no need for any new bridges. Fools.

Nonsuchmike   17/01/2014 at 17:08

I would take issue with you Ian on the savings you suggest would accrue by curving from west of the existing rail/rail overbridge through excellent farmland and onto the north-westerly line, so allegedly avoiding bridges. Firstly, assuming the same radius of curvature of the existing chord, more first rate farmland would be rendered(partially) useless. Secondly, woodland loss would be a factor; thirdly the junction with the existing freight line would severely impede if not cut right through at least one if not two sets of farm buildings and their ability to function adequately whilst work is carried out. Finally, the actually amount of railtrack and points needed would be greater. This is all without considering the facility of access to the sites by contractors, machinery and their vehicles, which would be spread over a greater area. Therefore, I welcome this chord; maybe not the perfect solution to all freight concerns, but at least a step in the right direction, which, with other improvements planned in the south and west of Yorkshire, is not before time.

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