Aggregates rail hub features in Lowestoft port development plans

Pilot boat in harbour at Lowestoft
Pilot boat in harbour at Lowestoft (WikiCommoins and Martin Petitt Flickr stream) Image from WikiCommoins and Martin Petitt Flickr stream

Lowestoft, the most easterly port in the UK, is set for a five-year development plan, underwritten by the owners, Associated British Ports. The emphasis on the traditional fishing fleet port is shifting to a heavier catch, as the owners have plans for an extensive rail served aggregates terminal. That part of the plan could set sail as early as next year, with an interim connection to existing adjacent sidings.

Over the next five years, Associated British Ports (ABP) expect to see an increasing role for Lowestoft in supporting UK infrastructure development, including the construction phase at Sizewell C nuclear power station, and HS2 high speed rail project. ABP say there are two opportunities, in the transfer of marine aggregates to the rail network and a ‘virtual quarry’ which would store land-quarried material for onward transfer by rail.

Infrastructure construction support

Rail freight operations are set to ramp up considerably at Lowestoft. That’s also good news for the security of the two lines that serve the town, north to Norwich and south to Ipswich. It also suggests that rail freight will play a part in the construction of the massive nuclear power station project, just down the coast at Sizewell.

View from the air of Lowestoft port showing harbour and the town beyond
Lowestoft port aerial shot (ABP video)

According to ABP, the future development of the UK’s infrastructure and built environment will rely on the availability of environmentally sustainable aggregates. “The Port of Lowestoft is potentially a key link”, says a statement from the company. “The co-location of the port and the railway allows a highly efficient, low-carbon supply chain to develop. We aim to reinforce these strategic advantages, ensuring that we reduce the environmental impact of the building materials we all need and bringing further jobs to [Lowestoft].”

Aggregates hub

There are a number of location options for the aggregates hub at Lowestoft. ABP say the North Quay Cargo Terminal option appears most attractive. By 2023, the most deliverable scheme is trucking aggregates the short distance to railway sidings at the immediate north of the Port boundary. Longer term, a potential direct rail connection could be established to the existing Network Rail sidings.

The Gull Wing bridge is a project to significantly improve harbour access, including provision for improved rail freight connection. The Port’s existing cement handling facilities may be used to support construction of that project, and Lowestoft’s new flood defences. The owners are eager to exploit opportunities in the supply of low carbon aggregates, using the co-location of rail and port services, whilst maintaining traditional fishing and marine recreation at the port.

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Author: Simon Walton

Simon Walton is RailFreight's UK correspondent.

1 comment op “Aggregates rail hub features in Lowestoft port development plans”

bönström bönström|15.12.22|15:53

Nearness to port, Advantage of UK, will gain even further, when railway industry has outed standards, now severely devastating.
Risk, now means costs. Accordingly all vital systems, of society, all links, now have to prove being redundant and resilient, thus robust!
“Optimal maintenance” of track, etc., now Big Business… – is Symptom of railways, now “cemented”…, as Bottleneck.
(Allowed load, is not allowed – by System… and now, at railways, regrettably no resiliency exists, etc…)

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Aggregates rail hub features in Lowestoft port development plans | RailFreight.com

Aggregates rail hub features in Lowestoft port development plans

Pilot boat in harbour at Lowestoft
Pilot boat in harbour at Lowestoft (WikiCommoins and Martin Petitt Flickr stream) Image from WikiCommoins and Martin Petitt Flickr stream

Lowestoft, the most easterly port in the UK, is set for a five-year development plan, underwritten by the owners, Associated British Ports. The emphasis on the traditional fishing fleet port is shifting to a heavier catch, as the owners have plans for an extensive rail served aggregates terminal. That part of the plan could set sail as early as next year, with an interim connection to existing adjacent sidings.

Over the next five years, Associated British Ports (ABP) expect to see an increasing role for Lowestoft in supporting UK infrastructure development, including the construction phase at Sizewell C nuclear power station, and HS2 high speed rail project. ABP say there are two opportunities, in the transfer of marine aggregates to the rail network and a ‘virtual quarry’ which would store land-quarried material for onward transfer by rail.

Infrastructure construction support

Rail freight operations are set to ramp up considerably at Lowestoft. That’s also good news for the security of the two lines that serve the town, north to Norwich and south to Ipswich. It also suggests that rail freight will play a part in the construction of the massive nuclear power station project, just down the coast at Sizewell.

View from the air of Lowestoft port showing harbour and the town beyond
Lowestoft port aerial shot (ABP video)

According to ABP, the future development of the UK’s infrastructure and built environment will rely on the availability of environmentally sustainable aggregates. “The Port of Lowestoft is potentially a key link”, says a statement from the company. “The co-location of the port and the railway allows a highly efficient, low-carbon supply chain to develop. We aim to reinforce these strategic advantages, ensuring that we reduce the environmental impact of the building materials we all need and bringing further jobs to [Lowestoft].”

Aggregates hub

There are a number of location options for the aggregates hub at Lowestoft. ABP say the North Quay Cargo Terminal option appears most attractive. By 2023, the most deliverable scheme is trucking aggregates the short distance to railway sidings at the immediate north of the Port boundary. Longer term, a potential direct rail connection could be established to the existing Network Rail sidings.

The Gull Wing bridge is a project to significantly improve harbour access, including provision for improved rail freight connection. The Port’s existing cement handling facilities may be used to support construction of that project, and Lowestoft’s new flood defences. The owners are eager to exploit opportunities in the supply of low carbon aggregates, using the co-location of rail and port services, whilst maintaining traditional fishing and marine recreation at the port.

You just read one of our premium articles free of charge

Want full access? Take advantage of our exclusive offer

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Author: Simon Walton

Simon Walton is RailFreight's UK correspondent.

1 comment op “Aggregates rail hub features in Lowestoft port development plans”

bönström bönström|15.12.22|15:53

Nearness to port, Advantage of UK, will gain even further, when railway industry has outed standards, now severely devastating.
Risk, now means costs. Accordingly all vital systems, of society, all links, now have to prove being redundant and resilient, thus robust!
“Optimal maintenance” of track, etc., now Big Business… – is Symptom of railways, now “cemented”…, as Bottleneck.
(Allowed load, is not allowed – by System… and now, at railways, regrettably no resiliency exists, etc…)

Add your comment

characters remaining.

Log in through one of the following social media partners to comment.