The Anonymous Widower

The Future Class 93 Locomotive And The Port Of Felixstowe

This is the first paragraph of the Wikipedia entry for the Port of Felixstowe.

The Port of Felixstowe, in Felixstowe, Suffolk is the United Kingdom’s busiest container port, dealing with 42% of Britain’s containerised trade. In 2011, it was ranked as the 35th busiest container port in the world and Europe’s sixth busiest. The port handled 3.74 million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) of traffic in 2011.

The sleepy dock of my childhood has become a giant.

Many of the containers going through the port, travel by rail, with upwards of forty trains per day, travelling along the Felixstowe Branch Line, which is mainly single-track and not electrified.

Freight Routes From Felixstowe

There are three main routes for freight trains from Felixstowe to the rest of the country.

Trains from Felixstowe to London take the following route.

  • Felixstowe to Ipswich – No electrification – Around an hour.
  • Ipswich to London – Electrified and 100 mph line.

Freight trains from Felixstowe to Liverpool, Manchester or Glasgow usually take the following route.

  • Felixstowe to Ipswich – No electrification – Around an hour.
  • Ipswich to Haughley Junction – Electrified and 100 mph line.
  • Haughley Junction to Peterborough – No electrification – Around two hours.
  • Peterborough to Werrington Junction – Electrified and 125 mph line.
  • Werrington Junction to Nuneaton – No electrification – Just under two hours.
  • Nuneaton to Liverpool, Manchester or Glasgow – Electrified and 125 mph line.

Freight trains from Felixstowe to Doncaster, Leeds, Newcastle or Edinburgh usually take the following route.

  • Felixstowe to Ipswich – No electrification – Around an hour.
  • Ipswich to Haughley Junction – Electrified and 100 mph line.
  • Haughley Junction to Peterborough – No electrification – Around two hours.
  • Peterborough to Werrington Junction – Electrified and 125 mph line.
  • Werrington Junction to Doncaster via Lincoln – No electrification – Around two hours.
  • Doncaster to Leeds, Newcastle or Edinburgh – Electrified and 125 mph line.

In most cases they are hauled by a diesel locomotive all the way.

Although in some cases, London trains may change to electric haulage at Ipswich.

An Ideal Freight Locomotive

If you look at these routes, the following should be noted.

  • All the electrified sections have an operating speed of 100 mph or more.
  • No section without electrification is longer than two hours.
  • None of the routes from Felixstowe have any serious gradients.

An ideal locomotive should be able to pull the heaviest freight train in both the following ways.

  • Using electric power – At 100 mph on an electrified line, if the operating speed allows.
  • Using diesel or hybrid power – For two hours on a line without electrification.

It looks to me that the specification of the Class 93 locomotive fits this specification.

December 20, 2018 - Posted by | Transport | , ,

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