Network Rail is investing USD $77.12 million in the branch line that connects the Port of Felixstowe to distribution centres in an attempt to improve the UK’s supply chain.
The ‘Felixstowe Capacity Enhancement Scheme’ involves installing a 1.4 kilometre track loop that will support up to an extra 10 freight trains per day to and from the Port of Felixstowe.
Speaking about the project, Hannah Briggs, Freight and National Passenger Operators, Network Rail, said: “Freight is great for the UK economy and also for the regional economy as well.
“The Port of Felixstowe has been a huge success story for UK Plc and as part of that we need to increase capacity to meet demand from container traffic.
“Freight boosts the economy by up to £1.7 billion [$2.19 billion] a year and that’s why we’re investing in the ‘Felixstowe Capacity Enhancement Scheme.’
“Each train is up to 775 metres long, which means we can take up to 76 lorries off the road. That’s going to improve environmental efficiency not only for the port but means less congestion on roads.
“Felixstowe is the first step in building a robust strategic freight network which will see goods moved from the ports of distribution centres and, ultimately, to our supermarkets and to our tables.”
In addition to the track upgrade, work will also begin on the signalling infrastructure to ensure the extra rail traffic is safe, including four pedestrian level crossings.
Work began on the ‘Felixstowe Capacity Enhancement Scheme’ in April 2018 and is due to be finished by the autumn 2019.