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  • What's happening?

    The cross-country rail route from Felixstowe to Nuneaton via Peterborough is being upgraded to run more freight trains and carry the larger containers now used by shipping companies

  • Improving the railway from Felixstowe to Nuneaton involves:

    • Gauge enhancements between Peterborough and Nuneaton to ensure the entire route can carry the larger, more economical freight containers increasingly preferred by global shipping firms. This work was completed in April 2011.
    • Capacity enhancements between Ipswich and Peterborough:
      1. A new 1km stretch of track, or chord, north of Ipswich goods yard linking the East Suffolk and Great Eastern lines
      2. Two 775m sections of track east of Ely station to enable better regulation of trains through the junctions at Ely
      3. Signalling works at Kennett/Bury St Edmunds
    • A flyover north of Nuneaton station that will allow freight trains from Peterborough to join the West Coast Main Line without the need to cross it at grade.

    Our plans for the capacity enhancement at Ipswich - known as the Ipswich Chord - were approved by the Secretary of State for Transport on 5 September 2012 (read about the public consultations). This investment, along with the enhancement at Ely, will help increase capacity between Ipswich and Peterborough from 10 container freight trains per day (TPD) to up to 24 TPD each direction, and provide capability for longer trains to run in future.

    Project  Date 
    Peterborough Nuneaton W10   4 April 2011
    Kennett resignalling  December 2011
    Nuneaton North Chord  October 2012
    Ely Loops  TBC
    Ipswich Chord  March 2014

    The benefits

    Environmentally friendly
    This work will mean many of the increasing numbers of freight containers coming into Britain’s ports can be transported by rail – one of the most environmentally friendly methods of transportation. The alternative would be to take the containers by road, adding to traffic congestion.

    Taking freight by rail rather than by road reduces CO2 emissions by 76%, helping the UK to improve its carbon footprint.

    Keeping traffic off the roads
    This growth in rail freight on the route will reduce the number of lorry journeys that will be needed if the rail improvements do not go ahead by up to 750,000 a year by 2030.

    This will significantly reduce pressure on congested roads such as the A14. It is estimated congestion on the A14 alone costs the region £80m each year.

    A more reliable service
    Today, Anglia's freight trains have to travel down the busy Great Eastern main line, through London and up the West Coast main line to reach the Midlands, North West and Scotland. These infrastructure improvements will provide more direct journeys for freight trains travelling from the Port of Felixstowe to the Midlands, North West and Scotland, and the potential for faster journeys to Yorkshire.

    This increased freight capacity will also help generate further growth of port-related businesses and support services.