The ground breaking ceremony for VolkerFitzpatrick's Port of Felixstowe third rail terminal contract took place recently. It was performed by Mike Penning MP, Under-Secretary of State for Transport and attended by a range of rail freight and local dignitaries, as well as representatives from client, Hutchison Ports (UK) Limited and VolkerFitzpatrick.
The new rail terminal will be the third at the UK's largest container port and is the first in the UK designed to handle 30-wagon long freight trains, capable of carrying 90 T EU (twenty foot equivalent containers).
The £20m contract, being delivered by the VolkerFitzpatrick civils division, includes site clearance, demolition and earthworks and the installation of 68,000 wick drains as well as water, communications and electricity services. VolkerFitzpatrick has also been contracted to build HV substations, tower lights and permanent modular buildings.
The rail package, also being delivered by the civils division, will include signalling, connection with the Trimley branch line, and twin tracks leading to a 700m long, seven road siding facility as well as the supply, installation and commission of a 29m long Loco transverse along with the piling and RC beams to support it.
Clemence Cheng, managing director of Hutchison Port Holdings Central Europe, in welcoming Mike Penning, said: "This new rail facility is part of the port's on-going programme of expansion which will further consolidate our position as the leading gateway in the UK for deep-sea container traffic. We already move 750,000 TEU per year by rail and the new terminal will eventually more than double our capacity for intermodal traffic."
Commenting on the new development, Mike Penning MP said: "This is a very welcome investment by Hutchison Ports in an important sector. It shows that rail freight continues to thrive with private sector investment through difficult economic conditions, bringing benefits to road users and the wider population, as well as the customers directly served.
"Along with inland rail improvements, this investment will help to confirm the UK's attractiveness for direct calls by the biggest container ships for many years to come, benefitting the local, regional and national economies."
Dick Watts, VolkerFitzpatrick regional director, said: "We are pleased to be working with Hutchinson Ports again. With extensive proven expertise in the rail freight sector VolkerFitzpatrick is all set to design, build and deliver this beneficial project."