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We've added a new section of track near Nuneaton station so freight trains can pass through without delaying passenger services
L to R: John Smith, managing director of GB Railfreight; Rt Hon Simon Burns MP, transport minister; Tim Robinson, director of freight, Network Rail, and GB Railfreight train driver Mark Winkworth, at the official opening of the Nuneaton North Chord on 14 Nov 2012, with the 0412 from Felixstowe to Barton Dock in the background.
We’ve introduced a new section of track (a ‘chord’) north of Nuneaton station as part of a national programme to encourage more freight off Britain’s roads and onto the railway.
Completed in October 2012, the 1.5 km chord leaves the Leicester to Birmingham line at the point where it crosses the West Coast Main Line near Two Bridges. The chord then rejoins the West Coast Main Line to the north of Canal Farm.
By separating freight and passenger services north of Nuneaton, it allows freight trains to pass through the area without affecting passenger services.
The Nuneaton North chord also helps to enable us to carry 9’6” containers between Felixstowe – the UK’s busiest container port – and the Midlands, North West of England and central Scotland. These larger, ‘high cube’ containers are becoming the preferred choice of the international shipping industry.
The Nuneaton North chord means more freight containers can be transported by rail – one of the most environmentally friendly types of transport – instead of by road.
Introducing the chord has more than doubled the capacity for freight trains in each direction through the Nuneaton area. Over a year, this is equivalent of around 275,000 lorry journeys on the roads.
The chord helps to provide rail freight with a shorter, more direct to the North and greater reliability when there is disruption elsewhere on the network.