Works have been completed along the 49 mile East Suffolk line to install essential new equipment, making level crossings safer and reducing barrier downtime for all in the Suffolk area.

Network Rail has installed axle counters at 27 sites along the line between Ipswich and Lowestoft, connected by over 15 miles of new cabling. An axle counter is a part of the signalling system that detects whether a train is occupying a section of track between two points. Signallers use this to operate the barriers at the level crossings.

The new system will give signallers better insight into train positions in those sections of track, allowing them to make more informed decisions, improving safety at level crossings. This will also reduce the length of time the level crossing barrier is down, meaning shorter waiting times for motorists and pedestrians.

Ellie Burrows, Network Rail’s route director for Anglia, said: “Our priority is to run a safe and reliable rail network and teams have been carrying out crucial work to make necessary improvements. The upgrade of this vital part of the signalling system makes the operation of level crossings safer and more efficient, benefiting passengers, motorists and pedestrians across Suffolk.”

Work was carried out over four months at night and over two weekends to minimise disruption for those who needed to make essential journeys.