Partnership backs rail upgrade

THE Haven Gateway Partnership has given its backing to plans to dual a key part of the existing single track railway line serving Felixstowe.

THE Haven Gateway Partnership has given its backing to plans to dual a key part of the existing single track railway line serving Felixstowe.

The Port of Felixstowe is seeking permission to upgrade the Trimley St Mary to Levington section of the line two twin track following the approval of its plans to increase capacity by redeveloping outdated facilities at the southern end of the port.

Haven Gateway chairman George Courtauld has written to Transport Secretary Alistair Darling, arguing that the development is vital if the area is to reach its full economic growth potential - as well a being in keeping with the Government's policy of moving more containers by rail.

Mr Courtauld said: “Felixstowe Port has said that it is committed to increasing the amount of freight leaving the port by rail.


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“This proposed dualling of the branch line, in conjunction with the Felixstowe South Reconfiguration, will take around 500,000 lorries off our region's roads, helping to meet Government objectives to reduce traffic pressure.”

Currently, there are 25 container trains a day travelling to and from Felixstowe Port. The proposed improvements would deliver the necessary capacity to handle the port's future rail volumes, allowing an additional 12 trains each day to take freight by rail. Existing passenger rail services would be unaffected.

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Besides the dualling of a four and-a-quarter mile section of the branch line, the port's plans also include the construction of three additional 24-wagon sidings within the existing Ipswich marshalling yard, and the further lengthening of sidings.

The Government is expected to make a decision on the application by spring 2007, with the upgraded branch line being fully operational by the end of 2009 if approval is granted.

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