Network Rail is upgrading the signalling in Middlesbrough this month in a £45 million project to deliver a modern, more reliable railway for passengers.
Around six miles of signalling equipment in the Middlesbrough area will be renewed, with control of the signals moving from two traditional signal boxes to Network Rail’s purpose-built Rail Operating Centre in York.
Two signal boxes – Middlesbrough, just outside the station, and Whitehouse, near Middlesbrough Dock – will be demolished as part of this scheme to futureproof the railway. Signals in the area are currently controlled by levers and switch panels inside these boxes, with the last major work taking place over 40 years ago.
In order for engineers to carry out this work safely, the line will be closed from Saturday 13 to Monday 15 November, with no trains to/from Middlesbrough station. Bus replacement services will keep passengers moving during this time.
Passengers are advised to check their journey via National Rail Enquiries or with their train operator and allow plenty of time.
Chris Gee, Operations Director for Network Rail’s North and East Route, said: “While signal boxes and lever frames are iconic reminders of our railway heritage, we need to invest in modern techniques to improve reliability for passengers and create a railway fit for the future.
“This work has been planned carefully to avoid any unnecessary disruption whilst still allowing our teams to work safely on site. I’m pleased that we’ve been able to work closely with Northern and TransPennine Express to keep passengers moving as we complete this essential work.”
Further work to complete this project will be carried out later in the month, meaning buses will replace trains between Middlesbrough and Whitby on Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 November.
Kerry Peters, Regional Director at Northern said: “The upgrades being carried out by Network Rail will provide our customers with an even more reliable railway.”
“We are sorry for any disruption during the improvement work and our customers can be assured that both Northern and Network Rail will do everything possible to keep it to a minimum. Bus replacement services will be available for our customers.”
Photo credit: Network Rail