Rugby Rail Operating Centre

Network Rail to complete major Midlands signalling upgrade

Network Rail is completing an £85million investment into the signalling on the West Coast main line between Rugeley and Colwich at the end of January, it has confirmed. The works will mean that sections of the line will be closed between Rugby and Stafford.

During that period, engineers will connect parts of the new signalling system which have been installed at various stages since 2017.

In total, Network Rail will have completed installation on 39 new signals alongside upgrading 124 axel counters and other associated works. The team will also complete work on combining and moving Colwich and Trent Valley workstations to be based at the Rugby Rail Operating Centre.

The latest work follows on from a wide ranging upgrade programme on the West Coast Mainline, one of the busiest mainlines in the country. Recently, this has included significant work on overhead electrical wiring in the Birmingham area, upgrading platforms at Lichfield Trent Valley station, track renewals and signalling improvements between Euston and Crewe.

Dave Penney, Network Rail passenger director for the North West and Central region, said: “These major signalling improvements on the West Coast main line will mean better, smoother and more reliable journeys for passengers and freight in the future.

“However, complex upgrades like these mean we have no choice but to close sections of railway for new signalling equipment to be installed and tested.”

The works have been ongoing for a long period of time including upgrading the Colwich Junction, an integral part of the mainline which was part of a 9-day closure in June and will have a completely new signalling system installed once this period of engineering works has been completed.

This project follows on the signalling upgrade project that was completed further down the line which saw major improvements completed between Milton Keynes and London.

Photo: Network Rail

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