Port announces container rail push

THOUSANDS more containers will be taken off Suffolk's roads from today thanks to a new weekday freight train service to and from Britain's biggest container port.

THOUSANDS more containers will be taken off Suffolk's roads from today thanks to a new weekday freight train service to and from Britain's biggest container port.

English Welsh & Scottish Railway (EWS) is launching the link between Felixstowe and Wakefield.

The service will operate daily from Mondays to Fridays, leaving the Port of Felixstowe at 3am and arriving at the Wakefield Freight Centre at 10.15am.

The return train will leave Wakefield at just after 3pm to get back to Suffolk by 11.30pm for reloading.


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EWS plans to link the train to a new Wakefield to Glasgow service to give customers a new route from Felixstowe to Scotland.

Andrew Goodchild, EWS general manager UK network business, said: "Over recent months EWS has developed new services to and from major ports in Britain, in response to customer demands for new rail freight services.

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"This new service from the Port of Felixstowe shows continuous demand for these additional rail freight services.

"EWS plans to operate more new services from ports in the coming months to meet the demands of customers for these trains."

EWS moves more than 100 million tonnes of freight each year and runs over 7,000 trains each week.

The company started operating from Felixstowe last year with a contract to run five trains a week from the port to Widnes for a number of customers, carrying 9ft 6in high cube containers.

In a bid to reduce pressures of freight travel on the roads, the port is committed to help meet the government's target to increase rail freight by 80pc by 2010 and is keen to provide its customers with as many rail options as possible.

Freightliner and GB Railfreight also operate services out of Felixstowe. Freightliner operates 14 trains a 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.

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