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Contractor Alfred McApline was this week nearing the end of a £5M eight week contract to refurbish the 19th century Ipswich Tunnel in Suffolk for Network Rail. So far work in the 330m long tunnel has involved lowering the track bed by 300mm by replacing layers of concrete slab and sand resting on the original brick invert.

Lowering the track will enable larger European gauge freight trucks to use the tunnel for the first time, en route from the West Coast Main Line.

Replacement of the invert took place in 30m to 40m sections to minimise the risk of heave damage. Contractors are now completing track laying ahead of the planned reopening on 6 September.

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