The UK’s GB Railfreight has completed the testing of the first freight train on the Ipswich Chord, which is expected to enter into commercial service on 31 March.
The £59m Ipswich Chord forms a part of Network Rail’s strategic freight network, an investment initiative to improve freight capacity across Britain railways.
The project was co-financed by the EU Trans-European Transport Network, and will join the Great Eastern Mainline to the East Suffolk Line.
GB Railfreight managing director John Smith said: "We thank the Government for investing in the Chord as it represents an important development for the rail freight industry, and allows us to assist the Government in its drive to take lorries off of our road network.
"Being the first company to test trains on the line is testament to our support for the project and reflects our intentions to work with the Government to promote other ambitious developments across the freight network in order to support the growth of rail freight."
Ipswich Chord will provide the operators with direct access to the Midlands from the port of Felixstowe, eliminating the need to go through London, or change direction at Ipswich goods yard.
The project will back the growth of the Port of Felixstowe, as well as benefiting the freight industry as journey times are reduced and longer trains can be run.
Image: GB Railfreight runs first test train on Ipswich Chord. Photo: courtesy of GB Railfreight.