Work starts on new Freightliner depot near Ipswich railway station
PUBLISHED: 10:44 15 October 2020
Construction work on a new multi-million pound depot for rail company Freightliner has started on the site of the old Upper Yard near Ipswich station.
A new access road to the depot is being built from Ranelagh Road – and the depot itself is due to take shape over the next few months.
It was given planning permission by Ipswich Council last year, but work on it was delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown. A spokeswoman for Freightliner said it was hoped to have the depot completed by June next year – but it was possible that further outbreaks of the disease and possible lockdowns could delay the work.
The new depot will create 20 new skilled jobs at Ipswich – and will lead to the closure of the current Freightliner depot on the other side of the station beyond Platform Four.
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Ipswich was chosen because it is near the Port of Felixstowe, from which Freightliner operates 22 trains a day transporting goods all over the country.
Freightliner already had the Ipswich site which was already connected to the rail network and had sufficient unused space so the decision was made to build the new facility there resulting in minimum disruption to the wider railway, Freightliner’s train operations and the environment.
The depot will include a steel-framed building 54 metres long which will include an inspection pit, two overhead cranes and an extended on-site car park for staff. It will also house a wheel lathe used to maintain and re-profile wagon and locomotive wheels, the first of its kind in this part of the country.
Tim Shakerley from Freightliner 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.”
The company said it would continue to stable locomotives and retain offices on its existing site – but in the long term there is an ambition to build new platforms there for trains heading north and west if passenger numbers resume their growth after the effects of the pandemic are over.
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