Residents want East Suffolk rail line dualled if Sizewell C approved

Melton train station, where the attack happened. Picture: Sarah Lucy Brown

The trains travelling to Sizewell C will travel through Melton between 11pm and 6am five times a week - Credit: Archant

Residents of Melton are becoming increasingly concerned over proposed plans to have freight trains travelling throughout the night to deliver construction materials to Sizewell C. 

If the twin reactor nuclear power station gets the go-ahead, the plan is for eight trains a night passing through Melton at roughly 40-minute intervals between 11pm and 6am, running for five nights a week. 

A survey, conducted by Melton Parish Council has shown that out of the around 500 people who completed, two thirds of people are against the trains travelling through overnight. 

A CGI showing how the new twin reactor Sizewell C would look if it is built Picture: EDF ENERGY/SIZ

A CGI showing how the new twin reactor Sizewell C would look if it is built - Credit: EDF ENERGY/SIZEWELL C

Local residents, John and Mary Hare, said: "The sleep disturbance that will be experienced by residents of the towns and villages along the route will be horrendous and particularly affect the very young, the elderly and those with physical and mental illnesses. 

"It will lead to a marked deterioration in physical and mental welfare of us all."

Some residents of Melton think returning back to the dual train line is the best solution as it would allow the freight trains to travel throughout the day instead of overnight. The line was dualled until 1984 and it would mean reinstating the track.

"The solution is simple and obvious," Mr and Mrs Hare said.

"The East Suffolk Line between Woodbridge and Saxmundham must be restored to double track."

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Vice chairman of East Suffolk Travel Association (ESTA), Peter Coghill said the best solution is to double track the line as it would maximise capacity on the line. 

How Sizewell C with its twin reactors could look alongside plants A and B on Suffolk's coast

How Sizewell C with its twin reactors could look alongside plants A and B on Suffolk's coast - Credit: EDF ENERGY / SIZEWELL C

Mr Coghill added: "The submission that ESTA made was for the line to be double tracked between Saxmundham and Melton, so that there could be an increase in traffic throughout the day time which is virtually impossible at the moment with the single track."

Mr Coghill believes that either EDF, the government or both should fund the dualling. 

"If they want Sizewell C to go ahead then they have got to be prepared for some extra costs," Mr Coghill said. 

Melton Parish Council understand the frustration the residents will feel with the overnight freight trains and has put together the survey to get feedback. 

Alan Porter, chair of the council, said: "The trains going slowly all night four times one way and four times the other is going to cause a lot of noise and disturbance.

"But if they wanted to dual line the track they are leaving it very late."

A view of nuclear island, where the first reactor will be based, at Hinkley Point C two years into t

Work underway at the EDF nuclear new build Hinkley Point C - Sizewell C will be a similarly huge operation and it is hoped to deliver some building materials by night trains - Credit: Archant

A Sizewell C spokesperson said: “We fully understand the concerns about noise on the East Suffolk line – particularly for overnight freight deliveries. 

"We are investigating continuous welded rail lines, the use of slower speeds and the types of trains that could be used to keep noise to a minimum.”

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