Manchester railway’s signalling overhaul completed

Network Rail have issued a thank you to passengers as they used alternative forms of transport for journeys into Manchester over the recent Platinum Jubilee bank holiday weekend. This was due to the upgrade works that were conducted to overhaul the cities line signalling.

450 railway engineers worked to complete major signalling renovation works to modernise journeys into the city, as a part of the Transpennine route upgrade. The project will allow faster line speeds into Manchester Victoria, which will result in more reliable and faster journeys for passengers.

Neil Holm, Transpennine Route Upgrade Director for Network Rail, said:

 “This major 21st century signalling overhaul will unlock more reliable journeys for rail passengers in Manchester, as well as the potential for faster trains in the future.

“I want to say a big thank you to passengers for using alternative travel methods to travel in and out of Manchester while this essential work took place.”

Throughout the four-day bank holiday, the works were conducted moving signalling equipment from a 132-year-old signal box near Philips Park, to Manchester’s state-of-the-art rail operating centre. The signals themselves function as rail traffic lights, so the efforts to modernise them for 21st century standards will aid in the overall running of the lines, allowing trains to run on time between Manchester and Stalybridge in future.

 Through the more efficient running of operations, the overall capacity of the lines will be maximised allowing more income to be generated. This will drastically aid in the industries attempts to recover in the post-pandemic world.

As part of wider improvements in central Manchester over several weekends, engineers also installed 29 new signals along with 4000m of new track and 2800m of train-powering electric cable.

This is part of the multi-billion-pound Transpennine Route Upgrade which will bring faster, more reliable services for passengers travelling between York, Leeds, and Manchester.

Work continues over weekends between Manchester and Stalybridge to upgrade track and install overhead line equipment. Passengers are urged to check before they travel via National Rail Enquiries or with their train operator.

Chris Nutton, Major Projects Director for TransPennine Express, said:

“The work over the Jubilee weekend was another key milestone in the Transpennine Route Upgrade; delivering a railway fit for the 21st Century.

“I would like to thank customers for their cooperation whilst the important work took place.”

Chris Jackson, Regional Director at Northern, said:

“This was another big milestone for the railway in the north and we’re grateful for the patience of our customers who found alternative arrangements over the weekend”

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