Balfour/Atkins win £28m Nuneaton new rail link

Aaron Morby 13 years ago
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Atkins and Balfour Beatty have clinched the contract to build a new 1.4km rail link north of Nuneaton station.

Work on the 1.4km Nuneaton North Chord, which forms part of Network Rail’s freight upgrade programme, will begin straightway to complete in a year’s time.

The new section of track will link the existing cross-country rail route from Felixstowe to Nuneaton with the West Coast main line, allowing freight trains to travel through Nuneaton station.

The Nuneaton North Chord forms an important part of Network Rail’s strategic freight network, a programme of investment to improve freight capacity across Britain’s railway.

The £28.3m scheme has been co-financed by Network Rail, the Department for Transport and the European Union’s TEN-T programme.

It complements the recent completion of gauge clearance across the entire cross-country route between the Port of Felixstowe and Nuneaton.

This means that for the first time, freight trains carrying the larger 9’6” or ‘high-cube’ containers now used by shipping companies can travel the length of the route.

As a result freight trains will travel directly to the West Midlands and north-west England without having to travel through north London as is now the case.

Tim Cook, senior sponsor at Network Rail, said: “Britain relies on rail freight and this scheme is crucial because Nuneaton North Chord is a key part of our plans to improve freight capacity of the railway – one of the greenest methods of transporting goods.

“Rail currently transports over 100m tonnes of goods across the country every year. This is worth around £30bn per year and directly contributes £870m to the nation’s economy annually. As Britain’s imports increase we need to look at ways in which we can transport more goods around the country without putting additional pressure on roads.

“This scheme is an important part of helping us achieve this, whilst delivering a more efficient and reliable network for our passengers.”

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