130 years of signalling history came to an end today (Feb 17th) on the Wherry lines alongside the reopening of the Norwich to Yarmouth line.
This follows completion of work to introduce a new computerised signalling system, improving dependability of train services.
A section of the East Suffolk line from Beccles to Lowestoft also reopened today.
Having been shut since February 1st engineers have switched the signalling system over from the old, Victorian mechanical signals which have been in place for over 130 years, to the modern computer-based system.
Work on the Norwich to Yarmouth line took place at level crossings including Brundall, Lingwood Chapel Road and Station Road to put in place full barriers and crossing lights along with upgrade work to numerous user worked crossing such as Acle Marshes to develop crossing safety.
New signals were also powered up along the lines and signalling engineers moved the last of the local signal box controls to Colchester as part of the modernisation programme.
Signalling work has also took place on the Norwich to Lowestoft line as well as track upgrade works at Lowestoft and renewal points outside of Oulton Broad North allowing railway trains to be directed from one track to another.
The reopening of the Norwich to Yarmouth and Beccles to Lowestoft lines will allow engineers to now focus on delivering just over three kilometres of track renewals at Hassingham, improving the journey quality for passengers.
Conclusive work is taking place at Cantely, Strumpshaw and Oulton Broad North level crossings to bring them into use when the Norwich to Lowestoft line is expected to reopen on 24 February.
Network Rail’s route director for Anglia, Ellie Burrows, said: “The completion of the re-signalling work is a significant milestone for the history of the Wherry lines. and we are in a really good position to complete the track works at Hassingham and reintroduce train services on the Norwich to Lowestoft line on 24 February.”
Director at engineering consultancy Atkins, Scott Kelley, said: “Working closely with Network Rail and our supply chain partners, we look forward to completing the transformation of this important route which will serve communities right across Anglia.”