Norwich, Yarmouth, Lowestoft re-signalling

We’re upgrading signalling across Norwich, Yarmouth and Lowestoft

This investment to upgrade the signals is a vital aspect of our railway upgrade plan to provide a safe, reliable and efficient railway fit for the 21st century.

Our re-signalling project will improve:

  • overall safety and reliability of the railway
  • operational flexibility
  • level crossing safety
  • sustainability and efficiency using modern technology
  • the duration of level crossing road closures reducing delays for road users.

Our Programme

We are modernising the Wherry lines between Norwich, Great Yarmouth and Lowestoft, by installing modern signalling technology controlled by a remote computer-based signalling system which will eventually replace the old Victorian signalling equipment currently in operation.

We are also replacing manually operated switches with powered switches controlled by a remote computer-based signalling system.

Keeper operated level crossing gates will be replaced with a modern barrier type remotely controlled and operated by a railway signaller using CCTV.

When our upgrades are complete, it will help to provide the level of reliability that our passengers expect from a modern railway.

The programme includes the following improvement work:

  • Upgrades to signalling, track, power systems and telecoms.
  • A new platform extension at Brundall station.
  • Track remodelling on four lines for modern train operation.
  • A new power supply system for the new signals.
  • Upgrade of six level crossings with barriers and traffic light protection.
  • Installation of stop lights at 11 user worked crossings for improved safety.

Click on the image to enlarge the infographic

Progress so far

We have made good progress since starting work in October 2017 including:

The first phase of the project was completed in October 2017 to upgrade the track around Great Yarmouth and Somerleyton stations, improving the way we operate and control the railway. In Great Yarmouth, the manually operated station track points (which allows trains to cross between lines) were upgraded to powered operation which allows us to control the track switch remotely.

In February 2018, we had our second phase of work to begin to install the foundations for the new signals across the route, and we upgraded the junction around Lowestoft.

In October 2018, we completed the third phase of the project by remodelling the track layout at Reedham junction, renewing over 1000 metres of track which will improve reliability and operational efficiency of the railway. We also installed over 26 new signals, equipment and laid lots of cables and cable trunking.

The changes to Reedham junction require rail services between Reedham and Yarmouth to be suspended from 20 October 2019 until the new signals can come into operation. The closure of the single branch line will affect a small number of daily services via Berney Arms.

In March 2019, we completed the fourth phase of works over a nine day closure of the Wherry lines. Over 20,000 hours of work was completed focussing on significant track remodelling at Brundall junction with 300m of new track including switches and crossings – movable sections of rail that guide trains from one track to another, a new platform extension and full platform refurbishment. The remodelled track layout will improve the way trains move through the junction making the service more reliable for passengers.Norwich, Lowestoft, Yarmouth re-signalling panel laying at Brudnall

Elsewhere on the lines, engineers have revising the signalling arrangements between Brundall and Reedham to prepare for the change to the modern signalling system.  Other equipment installed included new power supplies including extensive cable routes to serve the new signal systems. As part of the revised signalling arrangements, engineers closed Reedham signal box and removed the redundant semaphore signals from the Reedham area.

As an important part of our railway heritage, we have established a number of contacts across various community projects that have expressed an interest in taking the redundant equipment. These include railway heritage projects, exhibitions and learning centres. Donations of redundant signalling equipment have already been made and we are continuing to identify opportunities for this equipment to find continued use and purpose.

This work is being done in preparation for the switch over from a Victorian era signalling system to a modern system. The date for the new signals to come into operation is currently being reviewed. This is to allow our engineers to complete rigorous testing and validation of the new signal control programme to ensure it meets the strict safety requirements for a modern, operational railway.

Look Ahead

This work is being done in preparation for the switch over from a Victorian era signalling system to a modern system. A date for the new signals to come into operation is currently being reviewed. This is to allow our engineers to complete rigorous testing and validation of the new signal control programme to ensure it meets the strict safety requirements for a modern, operational railway. The Berney Arms branch line will be reopened once the new signalling system is operational.

Passengers are advised to check before they travel by visiting National Rail Enquiries or Greater Anglia’s website.

Contact us

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