Felixstowe: New rail terminal at port officially opened by Duke
PUBLISHED: 09:04 07 June 2013 | UPDATED: 09:04 07 June 2013
The Duke of York has given the royal seal of approval to the new £40 million rail terminal at the Port of Felixstowe.
Prince Andrew told onlookers yesterday that the port had taken the challenge of delivering goods and services to the next level with the nine-track North Rail Terminal – which doubles rail capacity at the port.
He addressed dignitaries at a ceremony alongside Hutchison Ports (UK) Limited CEO, Clemence Cheng and the Department of Transport’s maritime director, Ian Woodman.
Addressing the crowd, the Duke said: “Coming here today and seeing how Felixstowe is taking the challenge of delivering goods and services for British exporters and importers to the next level is really encouraging.”
The new terminal, co-financed by the European Union Trans-European Transport Network, means there are now a total of 20 tracks at the port.
It is estimated the rail terminal will take up to 750,000 lorries a year off the A14 by 2030, when the terminal is working to capacity.
Mr Woodman added: “We strongly applaud the way the Port of Felixstowe has long been at the forefront of efforts to provide the use of rail for container movements to reduce congestion and the environmental impact of HGVs.”
Mr Cheng added: “By allowing us to run longer trains, as well as more of them, it will allow users of the port to improve the efficiency of their supply chains and at the same time, reducing cost for them.”
After the ceremony, an actor posing as Colonel Tomline, the founder of the port, ushered people outside where a display of pyrotechnics, acrobats, rollerskaters and a robot was played out.
The new rail terminal is the port’s third and it will be the first in the country designed to handle the new 30-wagon freight trains.
The company is confident the investment in the new terminal will see them remain the UK’s premiere container port in the future.
John Meredith, group MD of Hutchison Port Holdings, added: The new North Rail Terminal is evidence of our continuing commitment to Felixstowe and the UK market.”
Conservative MEP for the East of England, Geoffrey Van Orden, said: “It is vital that we continue to make strategic investment to keep our ports sector competitive and improve our railways. I was pleased to help secure a substantive EU funding contribution for this project.”