Radical train vision for resort

PROPOSALS have been put forward for a radical railway system which could cut down on car travel on the Felixstowe peninsula.Mike Ninnmey believes his scheme - called Tomline Transit - could link communities in an environmentally-friendly way which could cut carbon emissions.

PROPOSALS have been put forward for a radical railway system which could cut down on car travel on the Felixstowe peninsula.

Mike Ninnmey believes his scheme - called Tomline Transit - could link communities in an environmentally-friendly way which could cut carbon emissions.

The project envisages a series of new rail halts between Levington and Felixstowe port which could be served by small unmanned remotely-operated trains which would run according to demand between the hourly passenger service and freight trains.

There would be new platform halts at Levington, Trimley St Martin, Christ Church for the Cavendish Park estates, Walton for Orwell High and nearby schools, the main beach, Beach Station and at Landguard Barbican, where people could connect with the ferry crossing to Harwich.


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Mr Ninnmey, a Felixstowe town and Suffolk Coastal district councillor said: “I think it is something we should be looking at for the future and we need to start looking at it now.

“We need a sustainable transport system which will reduce our community carbon footprint.

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“My family has three cars - not because we want to but because there is not a transport system which enables us to do without them.

“In future, with rising petrol and diesel costs and the need for greener transport, we are going to have to walk and cycle more, and take the train.

“But we need those trains to run where we need them most.

“They need to serve the school run, bring tourists to the resort, take dockworkers to the port, shoppers to the town centre and back, and people to the ferry to Essex.”

Colonel Tomline built the Felixstowe-Ipswich rail line 131 years ago and at its peak it ran 84 trains a day, bringing thousands of people to the seaside town.

Mr Ninnmey reckons there is still enough time space on the existing line to run his system which would involve sending the small trains up and down the line between the stops when they were needed, but not on a fixed timetable.

“All that would be needed would be two or three small sidings for the train to rest in while the main freight and passenger services went past and new platforms at the halts. It could be computer-operated from one site with CCTV used to determine where there were passengers requiring transport,” he said.

He is hoping the idea will excite debate and is to apply to Europe for funding for a feasibility study.

Would you use a light railway for short journeys rather than a car? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk

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