Rail freight capacity boost

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Network Rail has chosen Atkins and Balfour Beatty to build a rail link north of Nuneaton station, as part of its £28 million national rail freight improvement scheme.

The Nuneaton North Chord will involve a 1,500 yard section of track linking the existing cross-country rail route from Felixstowe to Nuneaton with the West Coast main line, allowing freight trains to travel through Nuneaton station without affecting passenger services.

The project, which is due to be completed in July 2012, is part of Network Rail’s plan to improve freight capacity across the network. It will allow eight extra freight trains per day to and from Felixstowe, which could take around 225,000 lorries off Britain’s roads.

Tim Cook, senior sponsor at Network Rail, said: “Britain relies on rail freight and this scheme is crucial because Nuneaton North Chord is a key part of our plans to improve freight capacity of the railway – one of the greenest methods of transporting goods.

“Rail currently transports over 100m tonnes of goods across the country every year. This is worth around £30 billion per year and directly contributes £870 million to the nation’s economy annually. As Britain’s imports increase we need to look at ways in which we can transport more goods around the country without putting additional pressure on roads.”

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