Claims more trains mean more trouble

RESIDENTS today fear more noise, pollution and vibration from trains if the Felixstowe-Ipswich rail line is dualled.

RESIDENTS today fear more noise, pollution and vibration from trains if the Felixstowe-Ipswich rail line is dualled.

Householders living near Ipswich Railway Station told a public inquiry that if the marshalling yard is expanded to cater for more and longer freight trains, problems will increase.

One of the concerns is the closeness to homes in Ramsey Park of a locomotive refuelling depot, though Felixstowe port officials say it is not part of the £46.6million dualling project as it is run by a separate operator.

Residents of Ramsey Park say they already have to put up with idling trains waiting at the depot as well as up to 19 engines parked in the marshalling yard, with sometimes up to 13 moving in and out on a Sunday night.

They say with the number of trains on the Felixstowe-Ipswich line set to grow with another 13 each-way every day, there will be more running at night.

Mother-of-two Teresa Richardson, of Gippeswyk Road, said: “It is now at a point where at times we can no longer have conversations in our garden and at night is disturbs sleep patterns.”

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Ipswich Borough Council has objected to the plans for the marshalling yard and says the predictions for air quality near the refuelling depot and noise along for people whose gardens back onto the line had been “significantly understated”.

Acoustics consultant Gordon Brown, for the council, said: “The most effective mitigation measure would be to either move the fuel point to another location where it doesn't impact on residential amenity or, at the very least, to reduce the number of locomotives stabled in the sidings on Sunday nights by storing them at another location, again remove from residential properties.”

The Port of Felixstowe wants to dual four-and-a-half miles of the Felixstowe-Ipswich rail line between Trimley Station and Potters Hole, just past the new Levington bridge, to take around 300,000 lorries off the A14.

The Government says it can only press ahead with its £240m expansion of the port if dualling takes place.

Freight traffic is reaching capacity on the line. At present 25 trains go in and out of Britain's biggest port every day, which is the maximum the track can take, and last year they carried 379,000 containers, 23per cent of the port's throughput.

The inquiry, which started at Trinity Park (formerly the Suffolk Showground) on March 13, continues.

What do you think of the dualling project? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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