Friday, February 5, 2010

British Rail Freight Modernisation Plans Take Step Forward

Network Rail Awards Design Contract for New Link
Shipping News Feature

UK – Plans on upgrading the British rail freight network have taken a step forward after infrastructure operator Network Rail announced that they have appointed Jacobs Engineering to design and construct new rail links that will improve connections between the port of Felixstowe and the rest of the country.

The £53 million contract will see a one kilometre stretch of line built between the Great Eastern and East Suffolk lines and two loops constructed east of Ely. The new tracks mean that freight trains running from Felixstowe to the Midlands, the North-West and Scotland will no longer have to be routed south via London, a substantial improvement for services once work is completed in 2014.

With container traffic for the UK expected to quadruple in the next twenty years, much of which will travel via Felixstowe, the project should help alleviate the chronic congestion problems that the main trunk roads that serve the port suffer from whilst also stimulating the UK’s rail freight sector.

According to Network Rail this should mean that the development should take 2,000 trucks off the road per day by 2030, reducing related freight transportation’s carbon costs by as much as two-thirds.