Work has started to upgrade the rail route between Doncaster and Immingham after investment of more than £15 million.
Network Rail is partnering with the Humber LEP and North Lincolnshire Council to invest the money to support the growth of rail freight in the region.
The project will allow high cube shipping containers to run between Doncaster and Immingham/Killinghome on standard height wagons.
The high cube containers can be accommodated on the Immingham to Doncaster routes, but it currently requires special low wagons of which there is a limited supply and they are also more expensive to run and maintain.
The project involves 29 “interventions” including platform alterations at stations and trackside changes, while work is also needed on three road bridges – Armthorpe Lane, East Halton Road and Eastfield Road.
Work will also be carried out underneath the bridge which carries the railway over the A18 (Near Althorpe Station, Scunthorpe).
To create the space needed on the railway, the bridges at Armthorpe Lane, East Halton and Eastfield Road need to be replaced, which will mean some road closures with diversions in place for traffic.
Pedestrian access will be maintained through a temporary bridge.
Route Managing Director for Network Rail Rob McIntosh said: “Rail freight is vital to our economy. It contributes £870m to the economy 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.”
This project has an in-principle allocation (subject to final Business case approval) of £7.2m from the Humber LEP’s Local Growth Fund programme which has been secured through its Growth Deals with Government and is part of the Government’s commitment to the Northern Powerhouse.
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