Network Rail and Spencer Rail have completed a 1.2-kilometre stretch of railway near Ipswich which will remove a major bottleneck on the Great Eastern main line.

Built on the former Harris bacon factory, Ipswich chord, which will open to traffic in April, will link the East Suffolk Line and the Great Eastern main line, removing a need for freight trains from the Port of Felixstowe to use sidings at Ipswich station as a turning point.

The £59 million link includes four new bridges, two new embankments, a 413-metre retaining wall and 1.2-kilometre of new track and signalling equipment.

Rail Minister Stephen Hammond visited the site on March 21. He said: “We are investing record amounts into transforming our railways because we recognise they are a key engine for growth.

“It is great to see that investment taking shape on the ground through projects like the Ipswich Chord. This will deliver a real boost to the freight industry, driving forward our economy and freeing up capacity to improve passenger services.

“In addition, it will help remove lorries from our roads, delivering safer journeys, a cleaner environment and relieving congestion.”


  1. Brilliant. Now it should remove loads of cargo off the roads and onto the railway to help improve the A14 from being the most congested road in East Anglia and that new spur link which is to be used for Freight trains will benefit more Jobs for East Anglia in years to come thanks to Network Rail for building the new Chord.


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