This Christmas, while most people are enjoying precious time with their families, up to 100 railway workers will forfeit their roast turkey and mince pies to install a vital new signalling system for the railway in Peterborough.
The current ‘interlocking’ system in the signal box at Peterborough is more than 30 years old and needs to be replaced. Work will take place during the traditional railway closure on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, continuing on Monday 27 December when buses will replace trains.
Dyan Crowther, Network Rail Route Director, said: “The Christmas period provides a window of opportunity to carry out essential work on the railway, while minimising disruption to passengers. We are taking advantage of this time to carry out the vital upgrade of Peterborough’s signalling systems, securing the future of the line for passengers on this busy stretch of railway. ”
The ‘interlocking’ system at Peterborough controls the signalling between Stilton Fen and Werrington Junction on the East Coast Main Line. It helps signallers communicate with signalling equipment on the ground and will be replaced with a more modern system.
The upgrade project started 18 months ago with the construction of a new equipment room at Peterborough signal box. The new signalling equipment was fitted during the summer and has been tested every weekend since August. The system is now ready for final connection to the railway network, and will be thoroughly tested again before it re-opens to trains.
Train routes affected by the work are:
· Liverpool Street to Peterborough
· King’s Cross to Peterborough and the North
· Norwich to Liverpool Lime Street via Peterborough
· Stansted Airport to Birmingham New Street via Peterborough
Alternative travel arrangements are as follows:
Christmas Day and Boxing Day:
The railway is closed for Christmas.
Monday 27 December:
· Peterborough – Sandy: bus replacement service in operation
· Peterborough – Ipswich: bus replacement service between Peterborough and Whittlesea
· Liverpool Lime Street – Norwich: trains start and terminate at Nottingham, with a replacement bus service between Nottingham and Norwich
· Stansted Airport - Birmingham New Street: bus replacement service in operation
Tuesday 28 December:
Train services back to normal.
Passengers are advised to leave extra time for journeys and to call National Rail Enquiries for more information on 08457 48 49 50 or www.nationalrail.co.uk