Rail boost as Immingham to Doncaster line is cleared for high cube containers

By Scunthorpe Telegraph | Posted: 11 Oct 2018

Work is underway to upgrade the rail route between Immingham and Doncaster, boosting freight movement and helping keep more cargo off the region's roads.

Network Rail is partnering with the Humber LEP and North Lincolnshire Council to invest more than £15 million to support the growth of rail freight in the region.

The long-awaited project will allow high cube shipping containers to run between Doncaster and Immingham / Killinghome on standard height wagons. While high cube containers can be accommodated on the Immingham to Doncaster routes, it currently requires special low wagons of which there is a limited supply.  Low floor wagons are also more expensive to run and to maintain.

Three new road bridges are at the heart of the project, which is to be delivered by AMCO, the main contractor.

Rob McIntosh, route managing director for Network Rail, said: “Rail freight is vital to our economy. It contributes £870 million and plays a big role in reducing congestion and carbon emissions. The northern Lincolnshire ports are an essential part of the freight network and this improved route will allow onward distribution from Doncaster to Scotland, the Midlands and beyond. This in turn will support the growth of local businesses at the ports and in the distribution network as well as preventing the need for goods to be transported on the road network.”

The route being improved. 

As reported, ABP is investing £36 million to upgrade the container terminal at Immingham, with proposals just revealed for a fifth Humber port at North Killingholme as part of North Lincolnshire Council's economic strategy.  

The project involves 29 ‘interventions’. These include platform alterations at stations and trackside changes, as well as the new bridges for East Halton Road and Eastfield Road, between North and South Killingholme. Eastfield Road’s bridge work will begin later this month, with a six month window allotted under published road closures, diverting traffic around the back of the refineries while it is progressed.

Read more: £220m Immingham power plant approved by planners

Network Rail has confirmed the bridges will be removed between Christmas and March 2019, with the project anticipated to complete then.

Work will also be carried out underneath the bridge which carries the railway over the A18, close to Althorpe Station, near Scunthorpe.

The location of the two new bridges being installed on the South Bank.

Cllr Rob Waltham, leader of North Lincolnshire Council, added: “These much-needed enhancements to the rail network throughout North Lincolnshire will open up further business opportunities for the area by reducing the limitations on freight being brought to and from our ports. These works are critical to enhancing the port infrastructure on the south Humber bank.

“This significant investment from the council, Network Rail and the Government through the Humber LEP, shows commitment to securing the future of our area and will boost the local economy by opening up more opportunities and creating jobs in North Lincolnshire.”

It has been a long-sought investment, with gauge enhancements having been on the agenda for some time. Then Rail Minister Claire Perry was welcomed to Port of Immingham in 2014 as part of one lobbying effort. Now Energy Minister, she met with Simon Brett, head of projects for the Humber at Associated British Ports, as well as South Bank MPs and council officials.

It was given the funding green light in July 2017, and comes after a huge rail bridge project as part of the A160 upgrade at the western entrance to Port of Immingham and Rosper Road.

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