by Tiana May
18 Aug 2023
Network Rail is set to switch on 116 newly installed digital signals in south west London and Berkshire during a period of planned engineering work from 19 August to 1 September.
This undertaking is a key milestone within Network Rail’s 116 million GBP reliability-boosting re-signalling scheme in Feltham and Wokingham.
To enable the work to take place, buses will replace South Western Railway (SWR) trains during a three-part closure of the railway between Barnes and Virginia Water, Windsor & Eton Riverside and Hounslow.
During this period, Network Rail’s team of engineers will switch on the new digital signals and will finish upgrading seven level crossings.
The new signals will help deliver more reliable journeys and fewer delays on the Windsor Lines, which are commonly used by commuters in and out of London.
They will replace signals and track circuits dating back to 1974 that have become less reliable and harder to maintain.
The existing system is controlled by the Feltham Area Signalling Centre, but once the new signals are switched on, control of this part of the railway will be moved to the Basingstoke Rail Operating Centre.
“At the end of this month we will reach a significant milestone of our wider Feltham and Wokingham resignalling programme with the switching on of the new signals on the Windsor Lines.
“Our engineers will be working tirelessly over this forthcoming 14-day period to commission the new signals, which we know will help improve reliability and reduce the likelihood of delays on this important stretch of railway.”
This four-year signalling programme will be concluded in early 2024 with the completion of upgrades to key signalling equipment controlled by the Feltham Area Signalling Centre and Wokingham Signal Box.
During this project, Network Rail has installed 116 digital signals, 11 kilometres of new cabling housed in 14 kilometres of refurbished cable ducts, and 27 new under-track cable routes to support the new technology.
Once the programme is complete, 13 level crossings will also have been renewed or upgraded with the aim of improving train performance.
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