Network Rail's plan to invest £40m in the construction of a new freight line in Warwickshire has been approved by the Department for Transport.
Transport Secretary Philip Hammond granted permission for the Nuneaton North Chord scheme to proceed, following a public inquiry held earlier this year.
The new 1km stretch of track will be built to the north of Nuneaton station, and will link the existing cross-country rail route from Felixstowe to Nuneaton with the west coast main line.
Construction work on the Nuneaton North Chord is expected to start in spring 2011 and is anticipated to take around 18 months to complete.
The new rail link will allow freight trains to travel directly to the economic markets in West Midlands and North West England without having to travel through north London, which they currently do. On completion of the scheme, freight trains will be able to travel through Nuneaton station without affecting passenger services.
The Nuneaton North Chord will provide for eight additional freight trains per day in each direction to and from Felixstowe, which will help take around 225,000 lorries off Britain’s roads.
Tim Cook, senior schemes sponsor at Network Rail said: “Rail currently transports over 100m tonnes of goods across the country. This is worth around £30bn per year and directly contributes £870m to the nation’s economy every year.
“As Britain’s imports increase we need to look at ways in which we can transport more goods around the country without putting additional pressure on roads. This scheme is an important part of helping us achieve this, whilst delivering a more efficient and reliable network for our passengers.”