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Manchester gets 21st century signalling upgrade

Posted on 18 Sep 2020 and read 644 times
Manchester gets 21st century signalling upgradeSignalling equipment that is nearly 40 years old is being replaced as part of the Great North Rail Project to improve journeys for passengers and freight.

The £36 million undertaking will see Network Rail install the latest digital technology to improve reliability and safety on ‘this important route into Manchester. The upgrade started in August and will be complete in autumn 2021.

Roisin Nelson, ‘sponsor’ for Network Rail, said: “This investment into signalling on one of the key rail arteries into Manchester will make passenger and freight journeys across the whole of the North West more reliable. Work like this has never been more important — future proofing this economically important rail link as Britain emerges from the Coronavirus pandemic.”

Chris Jackson, regional director at Northern Rail, said: “The Great North Rail Project is doing a fantastic job in modernising the rail infrastructure and delivering improvements that directly benefit our customers. We will work closely with Network Rail over the coming weeks and months to ensure disruption is kept to a minimum and the improvements are delivered as efficiently as possible.”

Signalling equipment between Flixton Station and Manchester City Centre will be modernised, as well as improvements within Trafford Park Depot estate. There will also be signalling upgrades to Freightliner Manchester terminal, DB Cargo and GB Railfreight at the Trafford Park Euro Terminal.

These will bring significant benefits to the rail freight companies, increasing the frequency and length of trains they can run and the amount of goods they can carry.

Neil McNicholas, Freightliner managing director for rail services, said: “Freightliner welcomes the proposed delivery of the signalling upgrade in the Trafford Park area, which will further improve reliability for services to and from the Manchester Freightliner Terminal.

“Crucially, this upgrade will also support the running of longer trains from the terminal, improving the productivity and efficiency of services, reducing congestion on the local road network and supporting decarbonisation.”