Feature, Freight News

EU to fund UK rail improvements

[ July 13, 2012   //   ]

The UK has secured European Union funding from the TEN-T Agency for three freight-related projects.

The UK railway infrastructure company said that three projects to improve vital freight and passenger links on the railway network are to receive €14m (£11m) from the European Commission – €5m (£4m) towards electrifation between Liverpool and Manchester; €5m (£4m) to increase capacity and train lengths on the Southampton to West Coast main line route, including new rail cranes at the port; and €4m (£3m) to build freight loops near Ely, as part of the Felixstowe to Nuneaton freight route improvement.

The Liverpool-Manchester work complements existing electrified lines in the region’ notably the key West Coast Main Line route and busiest mixed use railway in Europe.

The route from Southampton to the West Coast main line is being improved to offer gauge clearance for large 9ft 6 containers, longer loops to allow longer trains, and new cranes. The TEN-T money has been invested to increase train lengths.

Felixstowe to Nuneaton is one of the UK’s busiest freight routes and the area around Ely is one of the major pinch-points. Installing the 775 metre freight loops will increase capacity, improve reliability and allow longer trains to be run. This is a separate project from improvements to Ely North junction, work on which is ongoing.