Date: 27.06.2024

Felixstowe train derailment

At 22:09 on Wednesday 19th June a GB railway locomotive and loaded wagons en-route to the Port of Felixstowe derailed on the branch line approaching the main Central and Northern railheads, causing significant damage to the track and closing both terminals to train movements.

The Central and Northern terminals, the main railheads at Felixstowe were closed, and while the Southern terminal continued operating, a large majority of import/export services were suspended, with rail throughput at 40% last Friday.

While access to all other areas of the container terminal remains unaffected, with shipping and haulage operations continuing as normal, the derailment impacted all train services serving the port, including those by Freightliner, GB Railfreight and Maritime Transport.

To help mitigate the impact, Felixstowe released additional vehicle booking slots for hauliers, which was welcome, but this does not entirely replace the lost collection/delivery capacity.

Network Rail engineers have been on site since the incident, clearing and repairing the damaged track, with the derailed wagons cleared at the weekend.

The Central terminal is now operating alongside the Southern terminal and rail throughput is back to 50%, but having undertaken a full assessment of required repairs the Network Rail engineers estimate that the port’s rail capacity may not be fully operational until next week.

Update 26th June 2024 – Port of Felixstowe confirm that normal rail service will resume on the 4th July 2024, from 12:00.

With rail companies cancelling services we are unfortunately being impacted by the consequential issues, for example exports missing booked trains as operators work around the situation.

Issues will continue to arise in the coming days, and potentially after normal service is resumed, as empty containers are left inland and not returned, as laden containers will be prioritised where space is limited.

These issues will work through and in the meantime we will continue with our contingency planning. If you have concerns about any consignments, or would like to discuss our transport strategy, please EMAIL Simon Balfe, our Multimodal Transport Manager.

Image courtesy of the Ipswich Star