Gallery: Spectacular start to new �40m Felixstowe port rail project
JETS of flame shot into the air as a digger broke the ground to mark the official start on a �40million project to double rail cargo at Britain’s top port.
Shipping minister Mike Penning pushed the detonator to set off the spectacular flourish for the latest phase of port expansion, which will enable another 750,000 lorries to be taken off the A14 and switched to rail.
Guests gathered in an orange-floored marquee at the site on the outer extremes of Trinity Terminal, the northern-most part of the Port of Felixstowe.
The ceremony was attended by rail freight industry representatives, local dignitaries, and officials from contractors Volker Fitzpatrick.
Mr Penning said the terminal was providing jobs and growth at a difficult time as well as environmental benefits in taking lorries off the roads.
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“This development is vitally important to UK PLC. With some money from Europe, incentives from government and investment of private money, we can achieve the growth we need and get out of this situation,” he said.
Mr Penning said the port’s suggestion that off-peak less-used passenger trains could be cut and replaced with a top-quality express bus service to make way for more freight would be debated over the months ahead.
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“Whatever happens, passengers’ needs will have to be addressed but at the same time there are jobs, growth and investment, and a balance will have to be reached,” he said.