West London and Berkshire passengers thanked as £375m project is completed

An ambitious £375 million project aimed at enhancing the signalling and track infrastructure between Reading, London, and Guildford has successfully reached completion as of February 18th.

This five-year endeavour has significantly modernised the rail line, introducing 500 cutting-edge signals, replacing outdated equipment from the 1970s, and refurbishing 16-level crossings.

The programme covered some 80 miles of track between Feltham, Hounslow, Shepperton, Twickenham, Windsor & Eton Riverside and Wokingham.

The project’s final stretch, which spanned from February 10th to February 18th, focused on the Wokingham area.

It involved the installation of the last 43 signals, integrating new digital systems, and transitioning signalling control to a state-of-the-art Rail Operating Centre in Basingstoke.

This consolidation of signalling staff into a single location, moving away from the traditional remote signal boxes, is expected to enhance both communication and operational efficiency.

Furthermore, the project included significant track upgrades, with 1,000 meters of track being replaced.

This included the substitution of old wooden sleepers with more durable concrete ones. Additionally, 750 meters of electrified conductor rail was renewed, and 7 point ends were replaced.

The final two level crossing upgrades at Wokingham station and Easthampstead Road and work to renew a junction at Wokingham were also all finished.

These extensive improvements are anticipated to lead to a more reliable rail service, marking a significant advancement in the region’s transportation infrastructure.

Matt Pocock, Network Rail’s Wessex route director, said: “It’s fantastic to see the completion of our Feltham to Wokingham resignalling programme. We’ve worked closely with SWR and our contractors over the past five years to bring the signalling system up to modern standards and I’m pleased to see the completion of the final piece of this complex and challenging jigsaw puzzle.

“The new digital signals have replaced the old equipment which became unreliable and harder to maintain and the new state of the art signalling will improve the reliability of this key stretch of railway and in turn help reduce delays for our customers.

“We’re extremely grateful to customers and local residents living alongside the railway for their patience and understanding while we carried out this final phase of work and I look forward to seeing the realisation of the benefits this investment will bring.”

Peter Williams, South Western Railway’s customer and commercial director, said: “We’re very pleased to see that the Feltham-Wokingham Resignalling Programme has been completed, bringing a modern, more reliable signalling system to some very busy parts of our network.

“Work to introduce this new signalling system has been disruptive at times and we’d like to say a big thank you to our customers for their continued patience.”

Scott Kelley, managing director for AtkinsRéalis, commented: “The Feltham-Wokingham resignalling programme was a complex project which required extensive collaboration across the supply chain and with our client Network Rail. Its completion is a significant achievement for the UK rail industry, as demonstrated by industry awards for innovation and collaboration for the brilliant team. We pioneered several cutting-edge digital solutions, including advanced systems engineering and automated testing and data compilation.

“The modern signalling system provides advanced fault detection and prediction capabilities, meaning this key passenger and freight network now provides improved levels of reliability and safety.”


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