Humber ports boosted by rail freight revamp project
A programme of major rail freight infrastructure improvements that will provide a vital connection with the River Humber ports on the UK’s east coast has been given the go-ahead.
Network Rail, the UK’s rail infrastructure manager, has teamed up with the local authority, North Lincolnshire Council, and the Humber Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) for a programme of track gauge improvements and structural works that will enable the movement of high cube containers across the local rail freight network.
The council says that by 2020, more than half of rail containers destined for the UK’s ports will arrive on this type of container which have a maximum height of around nine-and-a-half-feet, but can be as long as 45 feet. Rail lines supporting key South Humber ports such as Killingholme cannot currently support these containers, only the standard ones.
Humber LEP has allocated 7.2 million Pounds for the scheme, with Network Rail having already allocated 7.5 million Pounds and the council 800,000 Pounds. Lord Haskins, Humber LEP Chairman said: “This project will help to secure the long term competitiveness of the South Humber ports and create opportunities for further development. Securing infrastructure investment is an important priority for the LEP because it is essential for supporting growth.”
Richard Iggulden, senior development manager for Network Rail, added: “North Lincolnshire is very important within the context of rail freight in the UK, as a large proportion of the country’s rail-freight traffic is generated from the Port of Immingham and British Steel at Scunthorpe. This investment will result in further future growth in rail-freight, to and from the county.”