Major railway improvements in Sheffield as Network Rail upgrades signalling and track

  • Network Rail begins major upgrades to the signalling system and the track in South East Sheffield this weekend
  • Work is taking place over nine days to reduce future disruption and bring a more modern, reliable railway for passengers as soon as possible
  • Bus replacements will run for people making essential journeys between Sheffield and Lincoln from Saturday 13 until Sunday 21 March

Passengers travelling between Sheffield and Shireoaks will soon benefit from a more modern, reliable railway as vital work on a £23million project begins this weekend.

From Saturday 13 March, major work will take place to upgrade the signalling system and improve sections of the track. Carrying out both pieces of work in just nine days reduces disruption for passengers and means that they can benefit from smoother, more reliable journeys much quicker.

The old signal-box based signalling system for controlling trains is being relocated to a state-of-the-art centre in York. Network Rail will also be replacing older mechanical signals with modern colour light ones.

As part of this project, Woodburn, Woodhouse and Beighton signal boxes will close and be removed. Although they are well-recognised in the community, the cost of keeping these buildings without an operational purpose is significant.

Network Rail has engaged with local stakeholders about the future of Beighton signal box. Unfortunately, the box needs to be removed to make space for new signalling equipment which is needed on the land it currently sits on.

For all of this work to take place safely, the line will be closed between Sheffield and Shireoaks and the following changes to train services will be in place:  

  • From Saturday 13 until Sunday 21 March, buses will replace Northern trains between Sheffield, Worksop, Retford and Lincoln.
  • Buses will arrive and depart from stands E5 or E6 at Sheffield Interchange bus station, a ten-minute walk from Sheffield station.
  • Train services will continue to run between Gainsborough Lea Road, Saxilby and Lincoln. There will also be bus replacement services between these stations.
  • Buses will also replace Northern trains between Sheffield and Gainsborough Central/Cleethorpes.
  • Tram Train services will run as normal throughout the vast majority of the work, but there will be no service to Rotherham or Parkgate on Sunday 21 March.

East Midlands Railway services between Worksop and Nottingham and between Doncaster and Spalding via Lincoln are unaffected by this work and will continue to run.

People should continue to follow the latest Government guidelines and only travel if they need to make essential journeys. Passengers are strongly advised to check via National Rail Enquiries or with their train operator before travelling and allow plenty of time.

Chris Gee, Operations Director for Network Rail, said: “These vital improvements will modernise the railway, reduce delays for passengers and bring smoother, more reliable journeys between Sheffield and Lincoln.

“We’re carrying out major work to upgrade the signalling system, as well as the track in the Woodburn area, over the nine days to keep disruption to a minimum. This avoids having to close the line again at a later date and means that passengers can reap the benefits much quicker.

“This work can only be done safely when there are no trains running on the line. Bus replacement services are in place to keep passengers who need to make essential journeys moving.”

Tony Baxter, Regional Director at Northern, said: “The engineering work will improve reliability on a busy and popular route.
“We are sorry for any disruption during the improvements and our customers can be assured that both Northern and Network Rail will do everything possible to minimise the impact of the work and deliver alternatives that keep people on the move.

“Northern will be running replacement buses to services between Sheffield, Worksop, Retford and Lincoln.”

Work is also taking place to upgrade Beighton level crossing. Modernising it by installing new equipment will improve reliability.

The section of Rotherham Road at the crossing closed on Saturday 6 March and will remain closed until Sunday 21 March. A signposted diversion is in place for drivers and access over the crossing will be maintained for pedestrians.

Photo credit: Network Rail

Latest Rail News

Ceremony marks the official start of £100m Metro Flow project in South Tyneside

A £100m track dualling scheme that will increase service frequency, reduce journey times, and improve reliability on the Tyne and...

More like this...