Wednesday 29 Aug 2007



Passengers are set to benefit following the successful completion of the £45m project to renew the signalling and improve the track through Coventry this morning. Hundreds of Network Rail engineers were out on site over the Bank Holiday weekend, testing and switching on the new signalling equipment so normal train services could resume today. The Coventry project saw the old 1960s signalling renewed with modern state-of-the-art equipment along 22 miles of railway serving all four routes into Coventry station. New sections of track have been added to ease congestion in the station and the operations of the station signal box moved to Network Rail’s new West Midlands Signalling Centre. Chris Rowley, Network Rail’s Area General Manager said: “The new technology in which we have invested will result in a better, more reliable service for passengers and ensure that Coventry remains an important transport hub for the region. As well as being more reliable, the new signalling has the benefit of being more energy efficient and requires less maintenance.” Over the next seven years Network Rail will invest a further £350m in renewing signalling equipment across the West Midlands. The next phase - in 2008 - will see new signalling and other improvements to the 23-mile route between Birmingham Snow Hill, Solihull and Warwick.

Notes to editors

The new signalling systems in Coventry will cover 22 miles of railway through and around Coventry station out to Hampton-in-Arden in the west, Brandon (near Rugby) in the east, Milverton Junction (Leamington) to the south and Counden Road on the Nuneaton route to the north. As part of the project a new 1.5-mile stretch of track was added to the single track line between Park Junction (adjacent to Quinton Road) and Gibbet Hill Junction on the Coventry to Leamington route Effectively “doubling” the track in this area will increase capacity and allow train operators more flexibility to provide a more reliable service for passengers by reducing congestion through Coventry station As part of the project to modernise and improve the signalling, Coventry station signal box closed over the Bank Holiday weekend with all of the signalling staff moving into the West Midlands Signalling Centre (WMSC) in Saltley, Birmingham. Further resignalling projects in the West Midlands over the next 7 years include Water Orton, Walsall, Wolverhampton and Birmingham New Street. As the signalling is improved in each area, operations will move into the West Midlands Signalling Centre (WMSC) in Saltley. The WMSC will eventually replace many of the ‘old style’ signal boxes in the region and control the signalling for over 400 miles of railway across the West Midlands.

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We own, operate and develop Britain's railway infrastructure; that's 20,000 miles of track, 30,000 bridges, tunnels and viaducts and the thousands of signals, level crossings and stations. We run 20 of the UK's largest stations while all the others, over 2,500, are run by the country's train operating companies.

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