The £68m modernisation of the Norwich Yarmouth Lowestoft railways took a major step forward last week (19 – 29 October) towards the switch-over from a Victorian era signalling system as the third phase of re-signalling works were completed following a nine-day suspension of rail services.
Engineers worked across the area to install 26 new signals, signal equipment and hundreds of metres of cables. The new systems will replace some of the oldest signals in the country, improving safety and journeys for passengers. Engineers were also out in force at Reedham to renew 1000 metres of track and crossings as well as remove 300 metres of a disused rail siding. The remodelled junction will eventually be controlled by the new signalling system when switched on in 2019. The new track layout will improve the way trains move through the junction, increase operational efficiency and safety.
The changes to Reedham junction and the upgrade of the signalling system means that rail services between Reedham and Yarmouth are suspended until April 2019 when the new signals are expected to come into operation. The closure of the single branch line will affect a small number of daily services via Berney Arms. Until early April 2019, customers from Reedham can travel by replacement bus to Brundall, where they catch the train to Great Yarmouth.
Meliha Duymaz, Network Rail’s route managing director for Anglia, said: “I’d like to thank all passengers for their patience while we completed these essential works over the half term period. We are one step closer to delivering a whole new signalling system for the Wherry lines as part of our Railway Upgrade Plan. We have more work to come over the coming months, but these improvements will help transform rail travel for passengers in this region.”
Jamie Burles, Greater Anglia managing director said: “We'd like to thank customers for their patience while Network Rail carry out this work. Between us we are completely modernising the railway in the Yarmouth area, with their new signalling system and our brand new longer state-of-the-art trains which start coming into service next year.”
Work will continue to take place on the Norwich-Yarmouth-Lowestoft lines with further line closures expected in the Spring of 2018 to continue to upgrade the signalling equipment on the lines.
For more information about the project go to www.networkrail.co.uk/nyl