Felixstowe docks breaks cargo record

BRITAIN'S top port has today broken its rail cargo record for the second time in a month.Executives at the Port of Felixstowe announced that its north and south rail terminals handled 8,527 boxes last week, breaking the record of 8,473 set two weeks earlier.

BRITAIN'S top port has today broken its rail cargo record for the second time in a month.

Executives at the Port of Felixstowe announced that its north and south rail terminals handled 8,527 boxes last week, breaking the record of 8,473 set two weeks earlier.

Chris Lewis, chief executive officer of Hutchison Ports (UK) Limited, which owns the port, said: “These record rail volumes reflect customer demand for a reliable and cost effective alternative to road transport for freight.

“We are committed to growing our rail share at the Port of Felixstowe, and our proposals to upgrade the existing single track branch line serving the port are vital to ensure that we are able to meet customer expectations.”


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Rail traffic - which helps cut the number of heavy lorries using the A14 - is due to remain at high levels for the next couple of months, and more records could be broken in the busy period running up to Christmas as hundreds of thousands of tonnes of gifts and toys are imported for the shops.

In response to the current high demand, port executives are currently holding discussions with four leading train operators to secure an extra daily service to operate out of the port.

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There are a total of 24 inbound and 23 outbound trains per day from the Port of Felixstowe's North and South Rail terminals. These trains link the Port to Coatbridge (Glasgow), Trafford Park (Manchester), Liverpool, Leeds, Cleveland, Birmingham, Cardiff, Tilbury, Selby, Wakefield, Hams Hall, Ditton, Daventry and Doncaster.

As part of the plans to redevelop the southern part of the port and Dock Basin area, the port has agreed to dual four-and-a-half miles of the Felixstowe-Ipswich line between Trimley Station and Potters Hole, just past the new Levington bridge.

The £46.6 million project will also include a new 830 metre marshalling yard at Ipswich station to cater for longer freight trains of 24 wagons.

The proposals are to be the subject of a public inquiry from March 13 next year at Trinity Park, the Suffolk Showground.

WEBLINK: www.portoffelixstowe.co.uk

Are you for or against the dualling of the rail line? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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