Signals on the West Coast Main Line

Network Rail to make £45m West Coast Main Line signals investment

Network Rail is set to upgrade 56 signals on a key section of the West Coast Main Line, as part of a ‘once-in-a-generation’ £45m investment into the section of railway.

The Great North Rail Project investment will see the signals upgraded to the latest technology between Prestbury, Macclesfield and Congleton.

Controlling the flow of traffic on the railway, ensuring signals are kept modern and operational is key to the safe and effective running of services.

Once replaced, the 56 new signals will be controlled from Network Rail’s state-of-the-art control centre in Manchester.

Work is set to begin in July and will take around 17 months to complete.

As one of the busiest mixed-use rail routes in Europe, the upgraded signals will improve future journeys for both passengers and freight on the West Coast Main Line.

The major investment will improve future journeys for passengers and freight on one of Europe’s busiest mixed-use rail routes.

Ian Robinson, Project Manager for Network Rail, said: “This once in a generation overhaul of Macclesfield’s signalling system will bring this key section of the West Coast main line up to the most modern standards.

“The £45m Great North Rail Project investment will future proof journeys and create a more reliable railway for passengers and freight services.

“Before our work in Macclesfield begins, we’ve invited local people to speak with us - I’d like to thank our neighbours and passengers in advance for their patience.”

Gus Dunster, Executive Director of Operations and Safety at Avanti West Coast, added: “We’re excited that Network Rail are upgrading the signalling system on a key section of our Manchester route as part of their Great North Rail Project.

“Once complete, the works will help to make journeys on the West Coast main line more reliable for many years to come.”

Rail Technology Magazine latest edition APR/May 22

RTM APR/May 22

Equality, Diversity & Inclusion: An essential agenda for UK Rail's future

Our April/May 2022 edition of RTM is now live, packed full of insights and analysis of rail projects, innovations, and ambitions across the UK network. Jump in and hear from the likes of Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen on how they’re supercharging rail in the region, hear from RIA Chief Executive Darren Caplan as he outlines why ED&I is essential to the future of rail, and Alan Pattison breaks down the unique work which went into rebuilding Soham station, alongside much, much more…


View all videos
TransCityRail Banner


South \ 29 09 22
North \ 10 11 22
Mids \ 10 02 23

TransCityRail is a series of regional, interactive and insightful events across the country bringing together leaders, collaborators, problem solvers and innovators in a creative and invigorating way.

This series of events supports and informs the whole of the rail industry and connects suppliers with buyers, specifiers, leaders and decision-makers looking to procure a wide variety of innovative products and services for their region.


The Green Rail Revolution

Maria Machancoses, Director of Midlands Connect discusses the importance of HS2 to the Midlands and the UK, their collaborative work with the Department for Transport, and how we need to embrace the railways again.

More articles...

View all