Nick Hollinghurst

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Railfreight Boost in East of England – New Rail Track at Nuneaton To Take Lorries off the A14

by Nick Hollinghurst on November 21, 2012

Greener transport, more reliable passenger trains, fewer lorries on the A14 and increased rail capacity are promised for the East of England by significant railfreight improvements at Nuneaton.  The 16th November saw the completion of an important £30 million rail scheme contructed by engineering companies Atkins and Balfour Beatty. The 1 mile of track, bridges and a junction were jointly funded by the Coalition Government, Network Rail and the European Community’s TEN-T programme. This short new freight line and flyover has been officially opened and now links the cross-regional Nuneaton – Felixstowe route to the West Coast Main Line.

The new track laid allows freight traffic approaching Nuneaton from Felixstowe to go north and join the West Coast Main Line via a flyover bridge without cutting across the paths of southbound main-line trains. Further work is also being carried out to allow trains to travel through Nuneaton station without affecting passenger services, reducing disruption and improving reliability. This is due to be completed by Spring 2013.

It is part of a long-term investment programme on the Nuneaton – Felixstowe route, which aims to take 750,000 lorries from the roads each year by 2030. The entire route between the Port of Felixstowe and Nuneaton can now be used by freight trains carrying the larger 9’6” or ‘high-cube’ containers increasingly used by global shipping companies. Freight trains can now travel directly to the West Midlands and North-West England from the East Coast without having to first travel down to North London, which they used to do,  adding to the congestion on the West Coast Main Line between Willesden and Rugby.

This will take lorries off the roads and in particular from the A14.

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