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Freight on Rail response to East Anglia Rail Franchise Consultation

  1. Thank you for the opportunity to comment.
  2. Freight on Rail, a partnership of the rail freight industry, the transport trade unions and Campaign for Better Transport, works to promote the economic, social and environmental benefits of rail freight to local and central Government.
  3. As noted in 4.9 and 4.10 rail freight is very important to the economy of East Anglia. In particular, deep sea cargoes from the Haven ports and construction materials.
  4. We welcome the fact that the Rail Executive states that it will have due regard to the needs of rail freight. In order to fulfil this, the following points need to be taken into account:-
    1. The existing rights of freight users and customer are respected
    2. Capacity for freight growth must be protected in line with CP5 funded commitments
    3. Capability requirements must also be taken into account.
  5. The second phase of the Felixstowe to Nuneaton upgrades are the most important planned and funded work in CP5 as Felixstowe is currently constrained by lack of rail capacity. This upgrade is intended for rail freight growth. This work is being supported via the Strategic Rail Freight Network fund and other funds for Ely and Leicester. All sections of the upgrades will be needed before the corridor can be used for rail freight. Ely North junction needs more capacity.
  6. F2N route electrification which is being investigated by Network Rail as part of the electrification RUS, would offer significant economic and social benefits to the region and nationally.
  7. Capacity enhancement which are being carried out through the SRFN programme will deliver major economic benefits.
  8. Freight currently runs on the GEML between the Haven Ports and Midlands and North via London. Even with the Ipswich Chord, the forecast doubling of freight trains to 60 per day will require some use of the GEML to manage capacity.

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