Network Rail investment plans strike a chord with passengers and freight

The schemes – the Ipswich and North Doncaster chords – are the first that Network Rail has submitted to the Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC), which requires a greater focus on early consultation with the local public and stakeholders. Although the IPC will be replaced shortly, its successor will require a similar approach.

Ipswich chord
This is a £41m, 1km double track just north of Ipswich goods yard, linking the East Suffolk line and Great Eastern main line. Once this work and other enhancements of the line from Felixstowe to Nuneaton via Ipswich, Ely and Peterborough are complete in 2014, the route will provide more direct journeys for freight trains travelling from the Port of Felixstowe to the Midlands, the north-west and Scotland, and the potential for faster freight journeys to Yorkshire.

Once complete it will take up to 750,000 lorry journeys off the road every year.

North Doncaster chord
The £54m new chord will relieve the bottleneck at Shaftholme Junction, to the north of Doncaster, by taking slow freight services up and over the East Coast main line and the busy passenger services that run on it.

The project will future-proof the line creating potential for more trains and passengers will find getting a seat easier as there will be more than 300 extra seats every hour.

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Next steps
The IPC has accepted both applications for examination. All the application documents are available on the Network Rail and IPC websites, along with details of the examination process and how to get involved.

If the plans are approved, work on the schemes is due to start in 2012 and will be completed in early 2014.


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