Felixstowe calls for axing of off-peak passenger trains

Industry Database

Passenger trains sometimes carrying only three people are taking up rail paths that could be used by 30-wagon freight trains on the branch line to and from the Port of Felixstowe, Hutchison Ports UK chief executive David Gledhill has said.

He called for off-peak passenger services to be replaced with additional freight trains, and passengers to be moved by a high-quality bus service.

He made his controversial comments at a ground-breaking ceremony for the port’s new North Rail Terminal, attended by shipping minister Mike Penning.

“We hope that all interested parties will come together over the next few months to have a sensible debate about how we can, collectively, make the best use of this important asset,” said Mr Gledhill.

Mr Penning stopped short of giving outright support to the idea, saying it had to be a local decision, but said: “If they are running trains with hardly anyone on them, there might be a better way to do it.”

He said he would welcome a “better utilisation of existing facilities in a way that benefits freight as well as passengers”.

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