Ipswich: Picture shows the scale of project to install rail bridge in Ipswich...as it makes its way through a town street

Workers transport a bridge for the Ipswich Chord Rail project through Europa Way on Saturday.

Workers transport a bridge for the Ipswich Chord Rail project through Europa Way on Saturday. - Credit: Archant

Dwarfing some of the nearby houses and captivating homeowners as it went along its journey, the installation of this bridge has brought the completion of the Ipswich Chord rail project one step closer.

The structure, pictured here in Europa Way, was transported on Saturday and then put in place next to the existing rail bridge in Sproughton Road – an operation which took place over the weekend.

Officials at Network Rail said the work has formed a key part of the project, which will link the East Suffolk line and Great Eastern main line, and went off without a hitch.

Dayrall Hall, project manager for Network Rail, said: “Work over the weekend to install a new bridge over Sproughton Road as part of the Ipswich Chord project went well.

“Following the completion of this significant milestone, we’re now firmly on target to complete the project by April 2014, that will ultimately help to take more freight off the roads and onto rail.”

The new bridge is just one part of the project, which will also include the creation of a 1.2km stretch of track, which is known as a chord.

The main purpose of the chord is to remove the need for freight trains travelling to and from the Port of Felixstowe to use the sidings next to Ipswich train station as a reversing point.

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Removing that manoeuvre will eliminate a major bottleneck on the Great Eastern main line and free up capacity for both passenger and freight services.

Richard Schofield, route managing director at Network Rail, added: “This project will help to take up to 750,000 lorry journeys off the road every year by 2030, reducing traffic congestion and carbon emissions as well as improving road safety.”

The project, which is now on track for completion by April, will also include the addition of four new bridges, signalling equipment and improvements to the existing over head line equipment.