Network Rail to upgrade Ipswich and Felixstowe line in UK
Network Rail is set to construct a second track between Trimley station and the Grimston Lane foot crossing on the Felixstowe branch line in the UK.
UK Secretary of State for Transport Chris Grayling has approved a grant £60.4m for the project, which will facilitate freight services and enhance the reliability of the line between Ipswich and Felixstowe.
The installation of the second track will enable Network Rail to operate 47 freight trains per day, a significant increase from the current capacity of 33 trains on the single line.
It is also expected to reduce road freight movement and traffic congestion at peak times, particularly on the A14 road.
Network Rail Anglia route managing director Meliha Duymaz said: “We’re improving the Felixstowe branch line to provide a step change for rail freight in Suffolk and beyond as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan.
“We’re supporting the growth of the UK economy by enabling more goods to be transported on the railway and reducing the number of lorries on the road.
“The work will also create a safer and more reliable railway for passengers travelling between Ipswich and Felixstowe.”
The project is set to be funded via the Strategic Freight Network with a contribution from Hutchison Ports UK, and is also expected to facilitate further improvements to the cross-country line in future.
Network Rail is slated to begin clearing vegetation in the coming months as part of the preparation for the second track's construction.
The company has already submitted a Transport and Works Act Order (TWAO) application to close six level crossings under the initiative.
Image: Rail freight at Port of Felixstowe. Photo: courtesy of Network Rail.