Felixstowe: New port rail terminal is on track

CONTRACTORS are expected to complete the main works on the new �40million rail terminal at Britain’s biggest port early in the new year.

Work on the scheme, which will take up to 750,000 lorries a year off the A14 by 2030 when the terminal is working to capacity, is progressing well and is on schedule.

Three new cranes for the tracks for the complex, being built at the northern end of the Port of Felixstowe, will be shipped over later this year from Ireland in sections to be put together on site.

Port officials are pleased with the progress of the project, due to be operational by mid-2013, and say the changeable summer weather didn’t affect the construction programme.

Work is currently taking place to build the device which will transfer inward trains onto the outbound tracks, so they are facing the direction they need to travel and ready to pull their next set of wagons.

Because the 750 metre long sidings will be used to their maximum length for trains, there is no room to build a loop. This means incoming engines will be taken onto a moveable track bed which separates and slides them along to rejoin a parallel line for their next journey.

The project at Trinity Terminal will be the port’s third rail terminal and the first in the UK designed to handle the new 30-wagon freight trains, capable of carrying 90 standard-sized containers..

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It will also ultimately double the capacity of the port for rail.

One of the advantages Felixstowe has over its rivals is being able to offer shipping companies much greater choice of destination and frequency for freight services than at other ports, and the extra services the new terminal – and, in due course, dualling of part of the Felixstowe-Ipswich line – will provide will enhance customer service.

The port has 58 train movements a day currently and connections with 17 inland destinations.

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