Wednesday 31 Dec 2003


Region & Route:
The work to commission new signalling equipment just South of Manchester was successfully completed today on schedule. The work, which started earlier this year, saw the essential replacement of 40 year old signalling equipment at Longsight - one of the North West’s busiest junctions, just south of Manchester Piccadilly station. Engineers replaced 20km of wiring, converted more than 70 track circuits, installed new lineside equipment, fitted a new interlocking cabinet which helps control the area’s signalling system, and commissioned all the equipment for trains to start running today (31st December). The project also included the successful commissioning of the train protection warning system (TPWS) at nine locations in the Longsight area, which prevents trains passing signals at danger. TPWS was also commissioned at a further 10 locations in the Cheadle Hulme area on Christmas Day and Boxing Day, where the system was adapted to operate in tandem with the new computer based signalling system in operation there.             Explained Network Rail’s West Coast Director James Martin: “Engineers worked around the clock from Christmas day until this morning to commission the signalling system. The new system is now live and will help to secure the future of the railway in this area for another 40 years.” Longsight - 2 During the works, Manchester Piccadilly station remained open, with train operators ensuring shoppers still had access to the city by rail, using a variety of alternative train services and special coach replacement services.  James Martin, West Coast Project Director said:  “This is an excellent example of the rail industry working very closely together with local stakeholder groups to ensure people could continue to get from A to B during the works. “Now complete, we can offer a renewed signalling system with improved reliability, securing the operational future of the rail network in this area for many years to come.” ends -Rail Midlands has today officially unveiled the new state of the art Rail Traffic Control Centre at Saltley, Birmingham, which will form the hub of West Midlands and West Coast train signalling and operations – allowing for greater flexibility and further efficiencies in service delivery and safety. The building, is already home to Network Rail’s Midl Notes for editors: ·        The six days for the works were chosen because of reduced passengers numbers during the holiday period. ·        The signalling renewals cover a one and a half mile area. ·        During the commissioning, a special temporary control panel was installed at Longsight to provide a back up system for the main operational control room at Manchester Piccadilly. ·        Around 100 people were working on the project during commissioning, in three shifts, providing 24hour operations.

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