We're upgrading the signalling around Cambridge, to improve efficiency and reliablilty for passengers and freight users

Signalling touch pad

Signalling systems are essential to the safe and efficient operation of the railway. With the demands to run more trains for freight as well as passengers, there is a need to modernise those signalling systems which are limiting the ability to operate the railway more efficiently.  

The Cambridge resignalling, re-lock and re-control project, (C3R project), aims to deliver state of the art signalling technology, ensuring better reliability and reduced maintenance, while providing a platform ready for digital technologies such as European Train Control System (ETCS).

The signalling system being upgraded by the project covers 125 miles of track, stretching from Meldreth and Elsenham to the south, through central Cambridge, up to Ely to the north and Thurston to the east.

The project scope includes:

  • An upgrade of the signalling control equipment at Cambridge power signal box
  • The upgrade of the signalling safety interlocking equipment with a computer-based system
  • The closure of three signal boxes and relocating control of the signalling to Cambridge power signal box
  • The upgrade of seven level crossings to full barrier
  • The temporary and permanent land acquisition to complete the works

Upon completion the project will have replaced around 690 signalling assets.

Network Rail has awarded the outline design contract for the upgrade to Alstom. This stage is expected to be completed in the last quarter of 2021.

Subject to obtaining the necessary consents and design approvals, the detailed design and  delivery of the signalling upgrade could begin by end of 2021 and be complete around the end of 2024.

Public Consultation Information

Network Rail’s public consultation on proposals to renew the railway’s signalling system and upgrade of seven level crossings across the Cambridge area is now open for comments until 11 April 2021.

This consultation is being undertaken so that the local communities can help inform our proposals before we apply for authorisation. As part of the design process, Network Rail has identified locations where there is a requirement to acquire land both on a temporary and permanent basis.

Owing to the current Coronavirus situation and following Government guidance, we are conducting the public consultation virtually to maintain the safety of the public and our staff.

Have your say

We want your feedback to help us develop our proposals which will inform our designs before we proceed with authorisation.

Contact us

If you have any questions about the proposals or the consultation, or would like to obtain hardcopies of the consultation brochure please contact us by email:


You can also call our dedicated hotline 0800 160 1426 between 1 March to 15th March at the following times:

  • Monday, Tuesday and Thursday: 2pm-5pm
  • Wednesday: 5pm – 8pm
  • Saturday: 10am – 1pm

Please follow us on Twitter @networkrailANG using the hashtag #CambridgeC3R.