Tuesday 1 Apr 2003


Region & Route:
| Southern
Railway employees past and present will be celebrating the 20th anniversary of Colchester Signal Box on Thursday 3 April.  To commemorate the box, which opened in 1983, a locomotive owned by GB Railfreight will be named ‘Colchester Power Signal Box’.  The box is owned and operated by Network Rail. It was originally built to replace 32 signal boxes, dating from the1860s and to introduce modern electronic equipment to replace over 1000 manually operated levers.  Mark Phillips, General Manager of Network Rail, who will be unveiling the nameplate says: “The signal box has been integral to the successful operation of the Great Eastern route since opening in 1983.  The number of passenger and freight trains on the line has dramatically increased and it has been able to respond to this challenge.  I am delighted that the signal box is being recognised in this way.”             Steve Williams, a Signaller who has worked in the box for 14 years says:  "The box controls the signals on 90 miles of track, stretching from Marks Tey to Norwich and the Felixstowe line.  We can see each and every train on our panels.  We now monitor around 40 per cent more trains a day on average than when the box first opened.   The signal box is a remarkable piece of technology, a very interesting place to work and it’s great to celebrate our success with friends and colleagues past and present.” - more - Loco - 2 PHOTOCALL             There will be an opportunity for photos of the unveiling at 11.30 and a chance to speak to staff.  Please contact Simon Holliday at the Network Rail press office on 020 7904 4034 to confirm attendance.

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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.

Usually, there are almost five million journeys made in the UK and over 600 freight trains run on the network. People depend on Britain's railway for their daily commute, to visit friends and loved ones and to get them home safe every day. Our role is to deliver a safe and reliable railway, so we carefully manage and deliver thousands of projects every year that form part of the multi-billion pound Railway Upgrade Plan, to grow and expand the nation's railway network to respond to the tremendous growth and demand the railway has experienced - a doubling of passenger journeys over the past 20 years.

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