At its existing Ipswich freight yard, Freightliner is planning to build a state-of-the-art railroad locomotive and wagon maintenance and fuelling facility.
The new maintenance facility will be a steel-framed building, 54m in length and include an inspection pit, two overhead cranes and an extended on-site car park for staff. It will also house a wheel lathe used to maintain and re-profile wagon and locomotive wheel sets, the first of its kind in this part of the UK.
After evaluating various sites, Ipswich was chosen due to its positioning near the Port of Felixstowe, from which Freightliner operates 22 trains a day, transporting goods across the country. Freightliner’s existing Ipswich site is already connected to the rail network and had sufficient unused space, meaning building a new facility there will result in minimum disruption to the wider railway, Freightliner’s train operations and the environment.
“There is a growing demand from the government to move more goods by rail,” said Tim Shakerley, Engineering & Operations Services Director for G&W’s UK/Europe Region companies. “Each freight train takes up to 76 lorry journeys off our congested road network and is a far safer means of transport. We take any impact we have on our neighbours and the environment very seriously and have written to local residents to give them full details of our plans and invited them to contact our project team with any questions.”
The multi-million-pound investment will help boost the local economy, creating around 20 skilled/semi-skilled jobs for local people with local suppliers used for the procurement of materials and equipment.