Network Rail to Finalize ?85 Million Signalling Upgrade on West …

Network Rail[1] has confirmed that it is in the final stages of an £85 million investment to upgrade signalling on the West Coast main line between Rugeley and Colwich, with completion scheduled for the end of January. As part of this extensive project, certain sections of the line will be temporarily closed between Rugby and Stafford[2].

During the closure, a team of engineers will be connecting various components of the new signalling system, which has been installed in phases since 2017. The upgrade encompasses the installation of 39 new signals, along with enhancements to 124 axle counters and other associated infrastructure. Additionally, the project involves the consolidation and relocation of workstations from Colwich and Trent Valley to the Rugby Rail Operating Centre.

This initiative builds upon a comprehensive upgrade program for the West Coast Main Line, one of the UK’s busiest railway routes. Recent enhancements include significant work on overhead electrical wiring in the Birmingham area, platform upgrades at Lichfield[3] Trent Valley station, track renewals, and signalling improvements along the Euston to Crewe corridor.

Dave Penney, Network Rail’s passenger director for the North West and Central region, emphasized the positive impact of these signalling improvements on future journeys. He stated, “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 the railway for new signalling equipment to be installed and tested.”

The project has been in progress for an extended period, including the upgrade of Colwich Junction, a vital segment of the mainline. Colwich Junction underwent a nine-day closure in June, and once the current engineering works are completed, it will feature an entirely new signalling system.

This signalling upgrade initiative follows a previous project further down the line, which successfully delivered substantial improvements between Milton Keynes[4] and London, contributing to the overall enhancement of rail services in the region.

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  1. ^ Network Rail (
  2. ^ Stafford (
  3. ^ Lichfield (
  4. ^ Milton Keynes (