Network Rail set to reach major milestone of £116m reliability-boosting resignalling scheme
Posted: 17 August 2023 | Elliot Robinson (Editorial Assistant - Global Railway Review) | No comments yet
Network Rail are set to switch on 116 new state of the art digital signals installed across parts of the railway in south west London and Berkshire.
Credit: Network Rail
Starting 19 August, Network Rail’s team of engineers will work around the clock for 14 consecutive days to switch on the 116 new state of the art digital signals – the railway’s traffic light system – installed across parts of the railway in south west London and Berkshire and finish upgrading seven level crossings during this multistage closure.
The existing system is controlled by the Feltham Area Signalling Centre and the current signals and track circuits – which tell signallers where trains are on the network – date back to 1974 and need upgrading as they have become less reliable and harder to maintain.
Following the switching on of the newly installed signals, passengers will benefit from more reliable journeys and fewer delays on the Windsor Lines which are a key route for commuters in and out of London. Control of this part of the railway will be moved to the Basingstoke Rail Operating Centre, a purpose-built rail hub that is shared with SWR.
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Over the past four years, as part of the wider Feltham and Wokingham re-signalling programme, Network Rail’s engineers have installed 116 digital signals, 11km of new cabling housed in 14km of refurbished cable ducts, 27 new under-track cable routes to support the new technology and upgraded seven level crossings.
The Feltham and Wokingham re-signalling programme will be concluded in early 2024 with the completion of upgrades to key signalling equipment controlled by the Feltham Area Signalling Centre and Wokingham Signal Box, which jointly cover 80 miles of railway and 500 separate pieces of signalling equipment. A total of 13 level crossings will also have been renewed or upgraded, all with the aim of improving train performance and ensuring passengers enjoy more reliable journeys.
“At the end of this month we will reach a significant milestone of our wider Feltham and Wokingham resignalling programme with the switching on of the new signals on the Windsor Lines,” Mark Killick, Network Rail’s Wessex Route Director, said. “Our engineers will be working tirelessly over this forthcoming 14-day period to commission the new signals, which we know will help improve reliability and reduce the likelihood of delays on this important stretch of railway.”