More lorries to be taken off A14

THOUSANDS more containers will be heading in and out of the Port of Felixstowe by rail, thanks to a new deal – taking more lorries off the A14.The port has announced it has signed a contract with the country's largest freight train operator which will help it towards the government's target of increasing rail cargo by 80 per cent.

THOUSANDS more containers will be heading in and out of the Port of Felixstowe by rail, thanks to a new deal – taking more lorries off the A14.

The port has announced it has signed a contract with the country's largest freight train operator which will help it towards the government's target of increasing rail cargo by 80 per cent.

English, Welsh and Scottish Railway (EWS) started its new rail service from the boxport this week.

It will initially operate five trains a week from the port to Widnes for a number of customers, carrying 9ft 6in high cube containers. An additional daily service will be launched from the port in January next year.


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Richard Pearson, managing director of port owners Hutchison Ports (UK) Ltd, said: "We are delighted that EWS has chosen the Port of Felixstowe for its new rail service.

"This is excellent news for our customers, who now have an even greater range of rail options through the port.

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"We are committed to helping meet the government's target to increase rail freight by 80pc by 2010.

"This new rail service will significantly increase the volume of containers being transported to and from Felixstowe on the rail, and will thereby further reduce the number of lorries on UK roads. This is something we would all like to see."

Competition is hotting up between rail freight companies, and EWS is the third to operate from the port's rail terminals, joining Freightliner and GB Railfreight.

Freightliner operates 14 trains out of Felixstowe every day – around 370,000 containers a year – and is hoping to add another to the service.

Independent operator GB Railfreight is running a service for Medite Shipping, running to Doncaster and Selby.

More cargo travelling by train is good news for the environment, but will bring mixed blessings for the people of the two Trimley villages.

Those living next to the A14 will welcome any cut in the number of juggernauts going past homes pumping out fumes, but those living next to the rail line to Ipswich will suffer from more train noise and vibration.

The port was last month given the go-ahead to build a third terminal as part of the next expansion of Trinity Terminal.

This will enable it to increase dramatically the amount of freight travelling by rail, and it is hoped to receive grant aid towards the project.

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