Between 2021 and 2024 we’re upgrading signalling equipment controlled by our Feltham Area Signalling Centre and Wokingham Signal Box to improve reliability.

Engineers will be making signalling improvements between Windsor and Staines in March 2021

The Feltham Area Signalling Centre and Wokingham Signal Box jointly covers 80 miles of railway and 500 separate pieces of signalling equipment, on key areas of the South Western Railway (SWR) network including Feltham, Hounslow, Shepperton, Twickenham, Windsor & Eton Riverside and Wokingham.

The existing equipment – such as signals, the traffic light system for the railway, and track circuits, which tell signallers where trains are on the network – dates back to 1974 and is becoming harder and harder to maintain.
In a long-term programme that will run through to mid-2024, we’re renewing that equipment with a modern equivalent that will be more reliable. We’ll also deliver a number of enhancements to improve train performance, as well as renew or upgrade 13 level crossings.

Once all those renewals and upgrades are complete, we will then move control of that equipment from Feltham and Wokingham to Basingstoke and into the Wessex Rail Operating Centre (ROC).

Digital railway

Our new signalling equipment uses digital technologies, which bring a number of benefits such as increased capacity for trains on the network, fewer delays, enhanced safety and lower costs.

In 2019 the Shepperton branch line, controlled by the Feltham Area Signalling Centre, became the first in the UK to use the Atkins ELIX system.

It’s just one example of how signalling is being transformed for passengers, business and freight operators under the rail industry’s Digital Railway programme

What we’re doing

To install our new signalling equipment, we first have to conduct enabling works such as installing new cabling and signal posts. We then have to commission that equipment, which requires the railway to be closed to trains.

All of this work is done over a period of months and on different parts of the network. The first phase of work, phase zero, was completed in June 2019 with the commissioning of new signalling equipment between Strawberry Hill and Shepperton.

From 2021 onwards, we are set to commission new signalling in the following areas on the following dates:

Red signal
  • Phase one: Strawberry Hill and Twickenham – Easter 2021
  • Phase two: Virginia Water and Ascot – Easter 2022*
  • Phase three: Windsor and Staines – August 2023
  • Phase four: Feltham and Kew Bridge – August 2023
  • Phase five: Wokingham – March 2024

*To be confirmed

Line closures

In 2021, the following lines will be closed for the following dates:

Buses will replace trains between these two stations while engineers install foundations for new signalling equipment, carry out track and bridge maintenance and litter clearance.

Buses will replace SWR services between Staines and Windsor & Eton Riverside throughout this closure and some train services will be altered.

Passengers are advised to check before travelling on the SWR website and with National Rail Enquiries.

Queens Road and High Street level crossings in Datchet will be closed at different points during this line closure. Please see the Level Crossing Closures section for more information.

Please note that there is also a closure on the Great Western Railway (GWR) network between London Paddington and Ealing Broadway which will affect services to Windsor & Eton Central on Sunday 7 March. More details are on the GWR website.

The Shepperton branch line will be closed between Thursday 1 and Tuesday 6 April, while the line between Norbiton and Strawberry Hill will be closed between Friday 2 and Tuesday 6.

Buses will replace trains between these stations while engineers commission new signalling equipment.

Wellesley Road/Tower Road (Strawberry Hill) level crossing will be closed during this line closure. Please see the Level Crossing Closures section for more information.

Buses will replace trains between these stations while engineers commission new signalling equipment.

Manor Road (North Sheen) and Elm Road (New Malden) level crossings will be closed during this line closure. Please see the Level Crossing Closures section for more information.

Please check back for updates.

Level Crossing Closures

We’re going to renew or upgrade signalling equipment for 13 level crossings, which will involve a number of closures.

In 2021, the following level crossings will be closed to traffic for the following dates:

  • Wellesley Road/Tower Road, Strawberry Hill – 00:01 Sunday 28 March – 06:00 Tuesday 6 April
  • Manor Road, North Sheen – 00:01 Friday 2 – 04:00 Sunday 4 April
  • Elm Road, New Malden – 00:01 Friday 2 – 23:59 Saturday 3 April
  • Arriva Bus Turning Point, Twickenham – 00:01 Friday 2 – 23:59 Monday 5 April
  • London Road, Sunningdale – Saturday 23 – Sunday 31 October

This page will be regularly updated as work progresses. Please check back.

Contact us

For more information or to get in touch with us, please contact us by visiting our contact us page or by calling our 24-hour national helpline on 03457 11 41 41.