We are installing a new signalling system in the Clacton-on-Sea area to replace the Victorian equipment with modern technology, bringing it into the 21st century.

The new computer-based signals will replace the system which uses mechanical levers and pullies to change signals and track points to allow trains to switch between tracks. The new system will be controlled from a powered signal box at Colchester. 

Alterations will also be made to the overhead line equipment and the track layout will be remodelled and updated to cater for a modern railway with powered switches and crossing controlled by the new signals.

Benefits of the programme

These works are a vital part of our strategy to provide a safer, reliable and more efficient railway putting our passengers first. The work will:

  • Improve the overall safety and reliability, reducing faults which cause delays
  • Support a more sustainable and efficient railway using modern technology
  • Help reduce ongoing maintenance as the new mechanical equipment will be more reliable meaning we can reduce costs and it will be less disruptive to the railway in the future.

The new signalling system will compliment Greater Anglia’s new fleet of trains and delivery a better, overall journey experience for passengers.

When are we going to deliver this work?

Click to view full PDF

The early preparation works began in the winter of 2019 and have been progressing over the spring/summer of 2020 with major works required through the autumn and winter of 2020. The majority of works are expected to be completed in spring 2021.

Further details of the programme will be available from this webpage in the coming months.

Will this work affect train services?

To allow these important works to take place, we plan to carry out weekend works during September and October 2020 to install the new equipment while trains are not running. Weekend train services will be affected between Thorpe-le-Soken and Clacton-on-Sea on the following dates:

  • Sunday 13 – Monday 14 September 2020
  • Saturday 19 – Monday 21 September 2020
  • Saturday 26 – Monday 28 September 2020
  • Saturday 3 – Monday 5 October 2020
  • Saturday 10 – Monday 12 October 2020

In the spring, we will need to suspend services between between Thorpe-Le-Soken and Clacton-On-Sea for 23 days from 20 February 2021 to 15 March 2021 (shown in red on the map).

Services will be also be affected between Hythe and Walton-on-the-Naze from Saturday 13 March 2021 to Monday 15 March 2021 (shown in blue).

This is required to be able bring the new signals into operation and fully test them before allowing passenger services to resume.

Rail replacement bus services will be provided for all affected journeys during this time.

Please check before you travel on the Greater Anglia website.

Contact us about our renewals programme

If you’re interested in finding out more about our programme to replace signalling equipment, please contact us by visiting our contact us page or by calling our 24-hour national helpline on 03457 11 41 41.