When the Port of Felixstowe was given planning permission for the expansion of Landguard Terminal a condition was they dualled the railway between Trimley and Levington. The recession of 2008 delayed the expansion of the Port and the work on the railway didn’t start as expected.
Over the last two years, however, the Port has continued to grow, including a new quay built to accommodate the super container ships from the Far East, and in march 2014 the Ipswich Chord opened, 0.75 miles long, connecting the East Suffolk Line with the Great Eastern Main Line to Nuneaton. Trains can now run from Felixstowe straight through to Haughley junction, Peterborough and beyond.
There are 31 freight services a day from the Port which have to work in with the hourly passenger service between Felixstowe and Ipswich but they would like to increase traffic to 47 freight services a day and originally looked at a number of possibilities to ease pressure on the line including a £40milion scheme to dual 4 and half miles of line between Trimley and Seven Hills with a passing loop on the site of the original Orwell Station as there was one here when the railway was first constructed; private trains could wait at the station for Colonel George Tomline to arrive from his nearby mansion, Orwell Park, whilst trains to or from Felixstowe ran through.
However with cost continuing to rise and the huge problems associated with compulsory purchase orders it has been decided to scale down the plans for a passing loop just to extend the Port’s Northern Feed Line which joins the Felixstowe main line at Trimley Station, effectively duelling the track as far as Keepers Lane Crossing. Six footpath crossings will have to close but Network Rail promise improvements will be made to the rights of way network and a larger bridleway bridge will be built.
Crossings at Thorpe Common, Gun Lane, Keepers Lane and Grimston Lane will be among those closed.
If you are affected by these closures you can give your views to Network Rail up to December 2nd