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Possible new freight line for Ipswich

PUBLISHED: 22:00 06 May 2003 | UPDATED: 13:49 03 March 2010

IPSWICH could get a new rail line if a new 100-acre freight yard is built near Stowmarket.

But the "Hadleigh Road chord" could have to wait until the major upgrade of the freight line from Felixstowe to Nuneaton towards the end of the decade.

IPSWICH could get a new rail line if a new 100-acre freight yard is built near Stowmarket.

But the "Hadleigh Road chord" could have to wait until the major upgrade of the freight line from Felixstowe to Nuneaton towards the end of the decade.

Last month a consortium backed by GB Railfreight – sister company of Anglia Railways – submitted a planning application to build a 100-acre freight depot at Creeting St Peter between the A14 and the main line between Ipswich and Norwich.

It would be developed mainly to service freight trains heading to Felixstowe and would employ up to 500 people.

But at present there is no direct line linking Stowmarket with Felixstowe – trains would have to reverse in Ipswich.

However plans for a new line linking the Felixstowe line with the line north to Norwich have been included in the proposals to build a new bus depot on the site of the former Harris Bacon factory in Hadleigh Road.

The Felixstowe-Nuneaton upgrade is designed to take freight trains off the busy rail network around London.

However the government's Strategic Rail Authority has put back the proposals by at least two years – it is now unlikely to be completed until 2010 at the earliest.

A spokesman for GB Railfreight said the chord was not considered vital to the new freight yard – but could be built if it was considered necessary.

"At present that is part of the SRA upgrade which has been delayed – but if we felt it was necessary for the Creeting freight yard we could reconsider it," he said.

Paul Davey, corporate affairs manager for the Port of Felixstowe, said the proposed rail freight yard was nothing to do with the port.

"We understand it is being promoted by GB Railways, whose GB Railfreight already run some train services out of the port, but we have no direct or indirect interest in the project and we have not been involved in any discussions with them about it at all," he said.

GB Railfreight last year launched a service from Felixstowe port's south rail terminal to Selby to transport containers for shipping line Medite.

The service started with one train three times a week transporting 20 wagons, each capable of carrying three boxes, with the aim to run the service five days a week.

Switching containers from road to rail is one of the major objectives of the port's strategy for the future and a third railhead with eight sidings and six cranes is included in its latest expansion project for Trinity Terminal.

Around 340,000 containers a year currently go to and from the port on trains operated by Freightliner, EWS and GB Railfreight.


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