Chamber Breakfast September 2017 – Network Rail Presentation

Network Rail senior development manager Alex Kirk won an attentive audience at the Felixstowe Chamber September Breakfast at the Brook Hotel on September 20 with his absorbing description of the on-going multi-million pound “Felixstowe railway branch capacity enhancement project”.

The latest “reduced scope options,” that are replacing the original plans to help reduce costs, will deliver a railway track “loop” line near Trimley that aims at dramatically improving railway links between Felixstowe and the wider world for both freight and people with double tracking over Keepers Line Crossing.

Network Rail is making improvements to the Felixstowe branch line to enable more goods to be transported by freight train, boosting the growth of Felixstowe Port, which is vital to the UK economy.

Today, 33 freight trains can run in and out of the port daily, taking goods to the rest of the country. The improvements will enable up to 45 freight trains to run every day, each train being equivalent to taking up to 60 lorries off busy roads such as the A14, (nearly 22,000 lorries a year).

The latest plan will feature improvements including building additional track so that trains can pass one other if one is delayed, or breaks down, and closing six level crossings in the Trimley area, in order to keep people safe and reduce delays. To continue to provide access to the countryside, a public bridleway bridge will be built and people will be diverted across the railway either by using existing routes or creating new ones.

Mr Kirk said the project was now on schedule to be completed by December 2019 and will include new bypass railway tracks, and the closure of some level crossings between Felixstowe and Ipswich with the new “loop” near Trimley.

He pointed out that the improvements would provide a two-track system on parts of the Ipswich-Felixstowe link, which would help increase the number of freight trains currently delivering containers to the Port, as well as providing an improved rail passenger service for commuters between the town and Ipswich.

His detailed presentation to the Chamber, with more technical details can be seen below:

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Tim Marchant

Felixstowe Chamber committee member. Web Developer since 1996. Specialising in Wordpress based content managed websites for small businesses.

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