A major plan to modernise the signalling infrastructure on the Salisbury – Exeter line is being unveiled today by Network Rail.
The £20m scheme will significantly improve the performance of the railway, whilst unlocking its potential to grow.
The 90 mile long route operates more than 40 trains per day and is fast becoming a vital link, supporting businesses and the communities.
The signalling equipment dates back to the 1960s and 1980s and is soon coming to its end of life.
The major upgrade will renew the infrastructure to improve its reliability and extend its lifespan for another 35 years, safeguarding the future of the railway.
Safety will be improved as work will be carried out to upgrade equipment on major level crossings along the route. Extra steps will also be taken to upgrade the crossing access at Sherborne for passengers with wheel chairs, making it safe and convenient for them to access the station platforms.
Richard O’Brien, route director for Wessex said:
“The number of passengers travelling on the Salisbury – Exeter railway has been steadily rising and it is key that the railway remains robust and reliable to serve this burgeoning demand. We want the railway to continue to thrive and with this scheme, we will be able to set up the building blocks that are vital to protect the future of the railway so that we can continue to serve even more passengers for many years to come.”
Work will be carried out from the beginning of Autumn 2011 and it is due to be completed during 2012.