The Port of Felixstowe has received consent for the upgrade of the Felixstowe Branch Line and works to improve the rail yard at Ipswich. The Branch Line connects Felixstowe to the national rail network, and the works form part of the overall scheme to increase capacity at Britain’s leading container port.
The Felixstowe Branch Line rail works include laying a 4.25 mile section of double track on the existing single-track branch line between Trimley St. Mary and a point between Nacton and Trinity Park (formerly the Suffolk Showground) to the East of Ipswich. In addition, the Port has received consent to construct three additional 24-wagon sidings within the existing Ipswich marshalling yard.
Chris Lewis, Chief Executive Officer of Hutchison Ports (UK) Limited, which owns the Port of Felixstowe, commented:
“This is great news for the further development of the Port of Felixstowe. Work on Phase 1 of the Felixstowe South expansion has already commenced, and this announcement clears the way for the implementation of Phase 2.”
“We are committed to increasing the share of freight transported by rail through the Port. These works will allow the number of daily trains to increase from 26 to approximately 40, taking hundreds of thousands of vehicles off the region’s roads, as well as providing enhanced service and maximum efficiency for existing rail customers.”
The Felixstowe South Reconfiguration will, when complete, create four new deep-water berths, with a total length of 1,285 metres and a depth alongside of 16 metres. The new facility, which will be the first new deep-water container capacity in the UK since Felixstowe completed the development of Trinity Terminal in 2004, will be equipped with 13 ship-to-shore gantry cranes. The first berths will be available in April 2010, with Phase 1 fully operational by September 2010.