Trains resume as Network Rail completes key stage of Cornwall signalling upgrade: Installing signalling equipment at St Austell, credit  Siemens

Monday 13 Nov 2023

Trains resume as Network Rail completes key stage of Cornwall signalling upgrade

Region & Route:
Wales & Western: Western
| Wales & Western

Network Rail has successfully completed the first major stage of work to modernise railway signals across Cornwall, with passenger train services resuming today after 13 days of round-the-clock work. 

Work took place between Tuesday 31 October and Sunday 12 November to continue replacing signals that have reached the end of their working life with new digital technology. 

Network Rail’s contractor Siemens installed 35,000m of cabling, plus new equipment and carried out testing of the new system while the line was temporarily closed. 

Work has also taken place to upgrade level crossings at Lostwithiel and Truro to improve safety and reduce delays on the railway. 

Conditions were often challenging, with Siemens dealing with Storm Ciaran and wet and windy weather but the work was completed safely and on time. 

A further phase of activity now takes place over Christmas before a final block of work in spring 2024 to bring the new system into operation. 

In between, work is ongoing near Plymouth to renew signals in an area often affected by delays.  

When complete, the new system will improve the reliability and safety of the railway and allow better real-time information to be given to passengers. 

Network Rail sponsor Paul Collyer said: “This has been a productive 13 days as we work to bring signals in Cornwall into the 21st century. 

“We needed to close the railway so our teams could work safely around the clock and we thank passengers for their understanding. 

“We have more hard work ahead of us but when complete, Cornwall will feel the benefits of this project long into the future.” 

Notes to Editors

Photo credit: Siemens

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Emily Maiden
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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.

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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