Over the weekend (13-16 November), Network Rail’s Rail Operating Centre (ROC) in York welcomed its newest workstation as part of a £45m project to upgrade signalling in the Middlesbrough area.
Teams renewed around six miles of signalling equipment, with control of the signals moving from two 19th Century signal boxes – Middlesbrough, just outside the station, and Whitehouse, near Middlesbrough Dock – to York’s state-of-the-art ROC.
Signals are used to tell the train driver when it’s safe to proceed and what route their train will take. Modernising this essential process means a more reliable service for passengers and a railway fit for the future.
In preparation for the move, Signallers in York have been using simulators to gain experience operating in the new area. Each Signaller took part in 72-hours of intense training and visited Middlesbrough signal box so that the move could be completed seamlessly.
Chris Gee, Operations Director for Network Rail’s North & East route, said: “Consolidating two traditional signal boxes into one digital workstation is no easy task, but our extensive planning and preparation meant that we were able to transition smoothly over the weekend and return to normal service on time.
“As with most major work, some changes to services are necessary to keep our colleagues safe while they work. I’d like to thank passengers in Middlesbrough and the surrounding areas for being patient with us while we completed this major upgrade.”
Photo credit: Network Rail