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.

£37m investment – Signalling, Track, Civils, Overhead Lines, Power Systems and Telecoms

500m newly laid track – as part of the new track layout to achieve greater reliability and minimise disruption

12 Renewed Signals – Solid state interlocking system with modern
LED Signals

12 Renewed Points – Power operated and linked to the new Signalling system

11 New OLE Structures – and OLE infrastructure alterations in line with new layout

2 New Power systems – For the Signalling and Points heating equipment

Modernised Signalling System – To renew the obsolete signalling assets

Colchester Powered Signal Box – New train dispatch system controlled from Colchester

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?

The early preparation works began in the winter of 2019 and progressed throughout 2020 with major works required throughout winter/spring 2021.

We will be carrying out intensive works on the project for 23 days from Saturday 20 February 2021 to Sunday 14 March 2021 and over selected weekends.

Across weekends in September and October 2020, our teams successfully completed the preparatory works ahead of the intensive works in February and March. We’ve now installed 13 new OLE structures, 2 new Relocatable equipment buildings, a new power supply, 6 new signal foundations and over 6000m of new cables.

Will this work affect train services?

Mid-week during the intensive works there will be Monday to Friday rail replacement bus service between Clacton and Frinton. Trains will run between Walton and London.

Rail replacement bus services will be available to allow passengers to complete their journey at the following times/locations: 

Between Marks Tey and Clacton-on-Sea and Walton-on-the-Naze:

  • Saturday 13 – Sunday 14 February 2021

Between Colchester Town and Clacton-on-Sea and Walton-on-the-Naze:

  • Saturday 20 February 2021
  • Saturday 27 February 2021
  • Saturday 06 March 2021
  • Saturday 13 March 2021

Between Colchester and Clacton-on-Sea and Walton-on-the-Naze:

  • Sunday 21 February 2021
  • Sunday 28 February 2021
  • Sunday 07 March 2021
  • Sunday 14 March 2021
  • Saturday 20 March – Sunday 21 March 2021
  • Saturday 17 – Sunday 18 April 2021
  • Saturday 24 – Sunday 25 April 2021

Between Frinton-on-Sea and Clacton-on-Sea:

  • Monday 22 – Friday 26 February 2021
  • Monday 1 – Friday 5 March 2021
  • Monday 8 – Friday 12 March 2021

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.