September weekend signals change for Scotland’s railway: IMG 1566

Monday 17 Sep 2018

September weekend signals change for Scotland’s railway

Region & Route:
Scotland

Network Rail engineers will complete the latest phase in a £114m upgrade to signalling systems across Lanarkshire this weekend.

Passengers are being advised to expect alterations to services between 21 and 25 September.

There will be no services between Edinburgh Waverley and Glasgow Central via Shotts from close of service on Friday 21 until start of service on Tuesday 25 September. Additionally, there will be no services between Edinburgh and Carlisle via Carstairs on Sunday 23 September.

During this time Network Rail engineers will work with contractors Siemens to replace track circuits, signals and cabling and to remove redundant kit and equipment.  The control panel in the Edinburgh signalling centre will be upgraded and all of the signalling & telecoms systems will be tested and commissioned before being brought into service on Tuesday morning. 

The work is as part of the final commissioning phase of the Motherwell North Signalling Renewal (MNSR) project and prepares the Shotts line between Edinburgh Waverley and Glasgow Central for the introduction of the new longer, faster trains that will run on the route once electrification works are completed.

MNSR is replacing track side equipment and transferring control of systems to the West of Scotland Signalling Centre in the west and upgrading and renewing systems connecting to Edinburgh signalling centre in the east.

Delivered over several phases, the investment is replacing outdated signalling and telecoms equipment to improving reliability and safety for passengers as well as introducing greater capability into the network so more trains can run.

Work over the September weekend is the final commissioning phase and will see significant work on the Shotts line through Midcalder junction and impacting on the Carstairs line.

Steve Muirhead, route asset manager for signalling in Scotland, said: “Improved signalling technology means more reliable journeys with fewer delays and increased capacity so more trains can run and more people are able to travel on the railway across Scotland.

“We are working to renew kit and equipment from the 1970s and replace it with systems that will improve performance and increase capacity – which needs to happen to enable the electrification of the line linking Scotland’s largest cities.

 “While we appreciate the work will cause some disruption to services, the activities have been planned for one of the quietest periods on the network.”

Passengers are being encouraged to check before they travel and more information can be found at www.nationalrail.co.uk and for local services www.scotrail.co.uk 

Notes to Editors

Work on this phase of Motherwell North Signalling Renewals is from close of service Friday 21 September until start of service on Tuesday 25 September and is largely focused on delivering the signalling enhancements needed ahead of the electrification of the Shotts line

The first phase of work – covering the Newton, Hamilton and Uddingston areas – was completed at Easter 2017 while Easter 2018 saw new signalling systems activated in Mossend, Coatbridge and Whifflet – with these earlier phases of work are already delivering improved signalling reliability in the areas concerned.

August saw the third and most complex phase of commissioning to date, with major renewals across North Lanarkshire (Motherwell Holytown Wishaw) and include Carluke and Lanark as well as the strategically important West Coast Mainline.

September marks the final phase of commissioning ensuring that the signalling systems and infrastructure on the eastern sections of the Shotts line are renewed and enhanced and connections to Edinburgh signalling centre upgraded. 

Work includes physically replacing track side kit and systems as well as upgrades to software and hardware in relay rooms and signalling centres.

Older 1970s electronic and relay-based signalling equipment will be replaced by the latest computer-based equipment and software which is easier to maintain and update in the future. The signallers’ control system will also be converted to VDU operation.

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