Ipswich to London in 45 minutes? Could the fast train depart in 2050?

New trains like this start to come into service next year - but could there be a new line altogether

New trains like this start to come into service next year - but could there be a new line altogether by 2050? Picture: GREATER ANGLIA - Credit: Archant

Could East Anglia have a high-speed rail line taking passengers from Ipswich to London in just 45 minutes by the middle of the century?

That is one of the proposals in a new document “Beyond HS2” published by transport pressure group Greengauge 21.

This calls for a network of new high-speed lines across the country to help speed up journeys and ease pressure on congested existing routes.

For East Anglia it suggests building a new high speed line from Stratford in east London, tunnelling under built up areas before emerging in south Essex.

It would continue to near Stansted Airport where it would form a Y-shape with one line going to Stansted and Cambridge with the other line heading to Colchester.

This would mean trains from Stratford to Colchester would take 25 minutes and would use the existing track to Ipswich and Norwich to speed up services further up the line.

Greengauge 21 is a pressure group set up by senior rail managers which campaigns for more investment in Britain’s rail infrastructure – the new report is recommending that the new lines across the country should be considered over the next few years with a view to being built by 2050.

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Director Jim Steer said “Britain lacks a long term national railway strategy beyond HS2.

“We need a plan to put rocket fuel into our economic productivity and today’s report sets out proposals to do so.

“It is vital for the future of the country that no region is left behind, and the national railway strategy needs to reach all parts of the country.”

At present there are no plans for such major rail investment – MPs are continuing to lobby Network Rail to try to persuade it to carry out improvements to the existing Great Eastern Main Line.

That would see an additional line built to relieve pressure in Essex and further improvements to the line at Haughley junction and at Trowse bridge in Norwich.

A rail expert not think this new proposal will affect this campaign – but believed that in years ahead it could be seen as putting down a marker that future generations of rail engineers pick up.

He said: “This probably won’t be seen during our careers – but in decades ahead it might be an idea that is dusted off by future planners if the passenger numbers continue to increase.”