Monday 23 Apr 2018
Successful upgrade signals bright future for rail travel in the south west
Network Rail successfully delivered the first phase of a vital signalling upgrade in Devon and Cornwall today (23 April) which, once complete, will enable GWR to deliver more frequent services, quicker journeys and more seats between Plymouth and Penzance from 2019.
The signalling upgrade between Plymouth and Penzance took place over the weekend and forms part of a £24m project that will be delivered in two phases, with the final phase of work taking place in October in readiness for significant timetable changes in early 2019
More than 125 members of Network Rail’s Team Orange helped successfully delivered the first phase over the weekend as they worked round the clock to install and test new state of the art signalling equipment.
The new equipment along the Cornish main line will be controlled from the existing signal boxes in Lostwithiel and Plymouth.
Mark Langman, Western route managing director, for Network Rail, said:
“It is a great achievement to have delivered the first phase of signalling work on the Cornish main line which forms part of our Railway Upgrade Plan.
“When complete - after the second phase in October - the £24m upgrade will enable GWR to deliver more services, quicker journeys and more seats in Cornwall from the end of the year.
“We thank passengers for their patience throughout the upgrade.”
GWR managing director Mark Hopwood said:
“Just last month we introduced our Class 43 Castle trains to replace smaller, less powerful trains on this part of the network, and later in the Summer we’ll start to see the arrival of our new Intercity Express Trains for Devon and Cornwall.
“Alongside improved infrastructure, these new trains will provide a step change in passenger transport, helping us to double the frequency of services to and from the South West and improve capacity on suburban commuter services.”
About Network Rail
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.
Every day, there are more than 4.6 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.
We are building a better railway for a better Britain.