The biggest signalling upgrade ever seen in the UK has taken one more step closer to completion.
Once completed, the signalling upgrade will allow the system in the Bristol and Bath area to run more trains on the track at any one time in the future, therefore meeting passenger demand.
Completion is one step closer after Network Rail carried out work to put all new infrastructure in place, in time for further testing at the end of June and beginning of July.
By putting this new equipment in place, the operation of signals in the Bristol area will be run from Didcot, the location of one of the most technologically advanced signalling centres in the UK.
This signalling upgrade is a six-year project that will modernise signalling equipment, essential to introduce a sophisticated traffic light system on the railway that enables trains to move safely around the network, whilst telling the train driver what to do next.
During this six-year project, Network Rail has disconnected and removed old equipment in the Bristol area that was installed in the 1960s and 1970s; in its place is a new-state-of-the-art centre linked to the high-tech control centre in Didcot.
The signals are positioned alongside the railway and give drivers the information about when it’s safe to proceed, as well as the route they have to take.
Jonathan Davies, project director for Network Rail, said: “The signalling work that we have now completed in the Bath area and into Wiltshire is a continuation of the country’s largest ever resignalling scheme and is part of our Railway Upgrade Plan.
“This combined with other recent upgrades in the Bath and Bristol area will transform travel for passengers in the two cities with a more reliable network as well as enable GWR to introduce more services later this year.”
The installation of more sophisticated signalling is being undertaken throughout Britain, to make railways more efficient.