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Siemens awarded £40m Banbury resignalling contract

Network Rail has awarded Siemens Rail Automation a £40m contract to renew life-expired signalling equipment from Leamington Spa to Heyford. 

As part of the project, Siemens will transfer the operation of signalling areas controlled by Banbury North and Banbury South signal boxes, to a single workstation based at the West Midlands Signalling Centre (WMSC). 

The remaining signalling control functions at Leamington Spa Signalling Centre will also be transferred to the WMSC. 

The 22-month project started this week and will run alongside the permanent way track renewal programme. 

In addition to the signalling transfer work, Siemens’ Trackguard Westlock computer-based interlocking solution will be installed. 

Siemens Rail Automation, which employs 9,500 people worldwide, added that on completion the system will deliver improved headways between Banbury and Aynho Junction, as well as a rationalised layout at Banbury Station to “improve operational flexibility” and “minimise on-going maintenance requirements”. 

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Rupert Le Bere   30/01/2015 at 13:22

Astonishing that this small area of mechanical signalling on a major trunk route has lasted this long. There have been many attempts to replace the signalling at Banbury in the past - I was involved in drawing up plans for it 35 years ago and even then I was amending earlier proposals! It will be interesting to see if the resulting infrastructure bears any relation to the earlier proposals at a time of route and service rationalisation.

Robin Wickenden   05/02/2015 at 15:41

This has quite often happened where major resignalling schemes in the past have stopped just short of a strategic junction, leaving it controlled by a mechanical box (or two, as at Banbury) fringing onto several large control areas. Other examples are Greenford, Yeovil Pen Mill, and Wokingham, and no doubt there are many more. Unfortunately it has often caused these small areas to get overlooked for long periods, as has happened here. No doubt they'll eventually get swept up in the overall transfer to the big control centres. In the meantime, they do provide a home for those who like working on their own in a signal box, that is often still using mechanical technology.

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