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£68m signalling overhaul set to start in Anglia

As part of its upgrade plan, Network Rail is installing a new state of the art signalling system on the train lines in the Yarmouth, Norwich and Lowestoft areas.

The upgrade, part of a £68m investment, will modernise the region by introducing 66 new colour light LED signals, 22 power operated points and a remote computer-based signalling control system, replacing levers and manual operations and making for a safer and more reliable journey for passengers.

It will also replace some of the oldest signalling equipment on the network. 

In addition, changes will be made to level crossings to ensure that they meet modern safety standards. Those that are currently operated by a crossing keeper will be replaced with a barrier remotely controlled by a crossings operator using CCTV, reducing the time that barriers are down and thus improving journey times and reducing delays for motorists.

Meliha Duymaz, Network Rail’s route managing director for Anglia, said: “This is a significant project that will not only transform rail travel for passengers in this region, but also bring benefits for motorists and pedestrians.

“We are working to provide a sustainable and efficient railway which uses modern technology, to improve safety and reliability as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan.

The works will be carried out at several locations from 21 October until 30 October, during which there will be changes to the service and passengers are advised to check before they travel.


J, Leicester   25/09/2017 at 15:01

Guess I'd best get out to ride the Great Yarmouth 37s before the semaphores are swept away then!

J, Leicester   25/09/2017 at 15:08

Actually, scratch that above comment - I didn't realise loco haulage finishes at the end of the month. Let-down! I'll have to go have a play in Cumbria instead. It's always sad to see mechanical signalling go, but it says more about the lack of investment in more provincial railway destinations than anything else - it needs to happen. As long as they don't install those god-awful lollipop stick signals I noticed on my most recent Sheffield - Lincoln trip.

Andrew Gwilt   26/09/2017 at 00:49

About time that old signalling needs to be replaced by new signalling.

Tothehills   26/09/2017 at 09:40

I wonder why they are bothering with signals - Can't we be a bit more like Denmark who are currently replacing all signals with ETCS; this is not immature technology any more.Surely it would be better for Liverpool Street services in the long term. More proof, if we need it, of the retrogressive nature of our country and its lamentable lack of focus on basic infrastructure.

Stuart Mcnae   26/09/2017 at 11:40

J Liecester - You can still ride the 37`s, they will be working until the end of the current Greater Anglia period. It is the 68`s which no longer run

Paul K   26/09/2017 at 18:06

I agree with Tothehills regarding ETCS. I wonder what the cost comparison would be for the introduction of ETCS on this route. The costs could be split in two, lineside equipment and rollingstock onboard equipment for all Classes of rollingstock using the line. Does anybody know what happened to the national rollingstock fitment program for ETCS, I was under the impression that this should have started by now?

Andrew JG   27/09/2017 at 06:32

Shame that electrification isn’t possible for some of the lines in East Anglia that would of happened. Along with electric trains aswell to operate on some of the newly electrified lines. Electrification could happen in the future. I guarantee that electrifying some of the lines in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire could happen. But instead Stadler are to manufacture the Class 755’s Bi-Mode units that will work on both electrified and non-electrified lines in East Anglia and to operate new services such as London Liverpool Street-Lowestoft, Liverpool St-Felixstowe, Liverpool St-Bury St. Edmunds via Ipswich, Liverpool St-Great Yarmouth via Norwich, Liverpool Street-Cromer & Sheringham via Norwich and brand new Stansted Express services including Peterborough-Stansted Airport and Norwich-Stansted Airport services that will also use the Class 755’s.

J, Leicester   27/09/2017 at 11:43

East Anglia seems a decent candidate for ETCS actually. Like the Cambrian Coast route, it's relatively lightly loaded and quite "cut off" from the wider network. it would be a solid test bed if there were to be teething issues... and my inner gricer thinks that if Network Rail were kind enough to oblige, GA could borrow their 37s to keep enthusiasts on the Yarmouth line happy in future!

Ampox   27/09/2017 at 20:58

Oughtn't we to be phasing out level crossings (and make local authorities contribute) as one of the most dangerous remaining parts of railway operation?

Mark Hare   29/09/2017 at 12:07

@Ampox - why should we phase out level crossings? Constructing bridges or tunnels/underpasses at great expense is totally unneccesary. If motorists want to try to drive round barriers or beat the trains to the crossing then they take their chances and deserve everything they get. It is the motor vehicle driver disobeying the highway code that causes a problem, not the existence of a level crossing. The huge cost of replacing level crossings would be much better spent elsewhere.

David   07/10/2017 at 14:49

It's also a problem when a train is derailed because of said motorist... Level crossings are quite rightly an operational headache for the railways.

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