Network Rail is set to display plans for a proposed £41m investment in Ipswich’s railway next week that could take up to 750,000 lorry journeys off the roads every year.
Network Rail has outlined its plans to build a new 1km stretch of track, or “chord” line, north of Ipswich goods yard linking the East Suffolk line and Great Eastern main line.
Freight trains from the Anglia region currently have to travel down the Great Eastern main line and through London to reach the North.
Once Network Rail’s upgrade of the line from Felixstowe to Nuneaton via Ipswich, Ely and Peterborough is complete in 2014, the route will provide more direct journeys for freight trains travelling from the Port of Felixstowe to the Midlands, North West and Scotland, and the potential for faster freight journeys to Yorkshire.
The chord will remove the need for freight trains travelling to and from the Port of Felixstowe to use the sidings adjacent to Ipswich station as a turning point. This is expected to eliminate a major bottleneck and increase capacity.
The Ipswich Chord project has already been through two public consultations. Before Network Rail submits its final plans to the Infrastructure Planning Commission in late May, it will be sharing the latest details with local residents and interested parties.
Details of the plans are available online at www.networkrail.co.uk/felixstowe-nuneaton