Freightliner hopes to develop new workshop near Ipswich rail station
PUBLISHED: 14:01 22 January 2019
Rail company Freightliner is hoping to build a new multi-million pound depot for its trains just outside Ipswich station.
It wants to build a massive new workshop to maintain its locomotives and wagons on land where there are currently little-used tracks beside Ranelagh Road.
It also wants to move its fuelling point, with huge tanks of diesel, to the depot from the other side of the station.
This would enable its diesel locomotives to be refuelled without having to cross the main line after they arrive from Felixstowe.
The company says its new depot will create about 20 new full and part-time jobs and will enable it to carry out maintenance on its locomotives and freight trucks that currently has to be undertaken at other depots across the country.
In its planning application to Ipswich council it says it says the nearest wagon maintenance plants at present are in Southampton or Manchester.
It says: “As a considerable portion of the fleet starts or ends their journey at Felixstowe, it results in many unnecessary and significant trips to Manchester or Southampton when wagons are in need of maintenance.”
Company director Tim Shakerley said: “There is a growing demand from the government to move more goods by rail.
“Each freight train takes up to 76 lorry journeys off our congested road network and is a far safer means of transport.
“We take any impact we have on our neighbours and the environment very seriously and have written to local residents to give them full details of our plans and invited them to contact our project team with any questions.”
Freightliner currently operates 22 trains a day to and from Felixstowe to all parts of the country. Some use the main line to London before heading north or west while others now use the cross-country route via Peterborough and Nuneaton.
The new maintenance facility will be a steel-framed building, 54 metres long and include an inspection pit, two overhead cranes and a car park for staff.
It will also house a wheel lathe used to maintain and re-profile wagon and locomotive wheel sets, the first of its kind in this part of the country.
The application is expected to be discussed by Ipswich planners during the spring.