The drive to improve freight travel for the goods and services of our businesses continues with a £60+ million investment on a bridge across the Felixstowe branch line.
After gaining approval for the bridleway bridge, Network Rail has already commenced with engineering works that will upgrade the Felixstowe branch line so that the space needed for an extra 1.4km of extra track can be laid between Trimley and the level crossing at Gun Lane.
The bridge is being constructed because Network Rail’s ambitions to increase the number of trains that run on the track mean that the use of a level crossing is even more dangerous for pedestrians using them.
An alternative in the shape of a bridge will give a safer route for walkers and cyclists alike, allowing Network Rail to remove six level crossings in the vicinity.
By doing this, it will be much safer for more trains to use the line, helping businesses who use the public service, but also those who need freight trains to transport their goods and services.
By working on the branch line, 10 additional trains will be supported in each direction to move these goods to and from the Port of Felixstowe.
As with other work on the line that will increase freight travel, this project will result in up to 76 fewer lorries off the road for every additional freight train, helping to reduce road congestion and pollution in the region.
Paul McMahon is Network Rail’s managing director for freight and national passenger operators. He described the news as “really positive” for the freight sector.
He said: “This is really positive news for the freight industry and we can now focus on delivering this vital upgrade.
“This project is the next critical stage in unlocking further capacity for container traffic to travel from the Port of Felixstowe to the Midlands and beyond.
“Joint funded by the Strategic Freight Network, which represents the interests of the wider freight industry, we recognise that this is the key to economic growth not only in the East of England but for the UK as a whole.”