Freightliner, a subsidiary of Genesee & Wyoming Inc. (G&W), is planning to build a state-of-the-art railroad locomotive and wagon maintenance and fuelling facility at its existing Ipswich freight yard, situated off Ranelagh Road, Ipswich.
The multi-million pound investment will help boost the local economy, creating around 20 skilled/semi-skilled jobs for local people with local suppliers used for the procurement of materials and equipment.
“There is a growing demand from the government to move more goods by rail,” said Tim Shakerley, Engineering & Operations Services Director for G&W’s UK/Europe Region companies. “Each freight train takes up to 76 lorry journeys off our congested road network and is a far safer means of transport. We take any impact we have on our neighbours and the environment very seriously and have written to local residents to give them full details of our plans and invited them to contact our project team with any questions.”
After evaluating various sites throughout the UK, Ipswich was chosen due to its strategic positioning close to the Port of Felixstowe, the UK’s largest maritime port and from which Freightliner operates 22 trains a day, transporting goods all over the country. As Freightliner’s existing Ipswich site was already connected to the rail network and had sufficient unused space, it made perfect sense to build the new facility there resulting in minimum disruption to the wider railway, Freightliner’s train operations and the environment.
The new maintenance facility will be a steel-framed building, 54 metres in length and include an inspection pit, two overhead cranes and an extended on-site car park for staff. It will also house a wheel lathe used to maintain and re-profile wagon and locomotive wheel sets, the first of its kind in this part of the country.
Freightliner’s planning application to develop its Ipswich site can be found on the Ipswich Council Planning Portal.